Nevada and Navajo

David A. Daniel dad at POKERWIZ.COM
Tue May 21 23:39:03 UTC 2013

I grew up in Southern California saying, and hearing all about me, both
Nevada and Navajo with cat-sounding first a's. In 1979, in the movie Hair, I
heard Berger (ostensibly from New York) say Nevada with a father-sounding
first a, and thought, hmph, that's different. Now I find myself using the
father-a too for Nevada, don't remember when that started but it was
sometime post-Berger. But I still use cat-a for Navajo as, I would bet, do
most southwesterners.

-----Original Message-----

Poster:       Herb Stahlke <hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM>
Subject:      Re: Nevada and Navajo


She may have given you the Americanized pronunciation.  The Navajo /a/
vowel is a low back vowel as in English "father," not as in "cat."


> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Tom Zurinskas <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Nevada and Navajo
> Vacationing in Nevada I picked up tourist literature that had the word
> Neva=
> da with a breve over the first a showing that they really want that letter
> =
> to be pronounced as in "cat" (~Nevvadu) as if tourists would know what
> that=
>  diacritical mark means.  Also I asked a Navajo woman how to say Navajo.
>  A=
> gain the first a would be as in cat (~Navuhoe).
> Tom Zurinskas=2C Conn 20 yrs=2C Tenn 3=2C NJ 33=2C now Fl 9.
> See how English spelling links to sounds at
> =20
>                                           =

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list