Didn't as [dIdInt]

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Wed Jun 25 01:57:12 UTC 2014

I've forwarded a number of entries in this thread to Dad, who responds:

    Well judging by all the responses you got, some other people have
    made the same observation as I did.  I do say mount'n not moun-tain
    and fount'n intead of foun-tain, and some others I can't think of
    here and now, but I have never said didint or didunt or couldint or
    couldunt, and I've always said Mil-ton, not Milt'n.  Here is a
    challenge though.  There is a town named Tifton not far from Albany
    [Georgia].  No matter how I try, I can't say Tifton in the Milt'n
    fashion, only the Mil-ton way.

I blogged about the related issue of /t/->[?] /__V[n] a few years back, 
before my sons' voices had changed: 
Around the same time, I was trying to see if there was a pattern in my 
own speech about when a final /tVn/ was realized with a syllabic [n], 
regardless of whether the /t/ turned into a glottal stop. Let's see if I 
can find my notes from back then...

Words where syllabic /n/ is optional:

  * /nt/ Clinton, Boynton, Stanton, mountain, fountain, etc.
  * /rnt/ Thornton
  * /lt/ Milton, Elton
  * /rlt/ Carlton (side note: On "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," Will
    Smith and his co-star between them use both the syllabic and
    non-syllabic /n/ pronunciations for this character's name)

Words where syllabic /n/ is forbidden:

  * /nd/ Linden, Landon, London, Blendon
  * /rnd/ Herndon
  * /ld/ Holden, Sheldon, Alden
  * /rld/ Marledon (not a real name AFAIK, but I needed /rld/)
  * /pt/ Lipton, Clapton
  * /kt/ Acton, Stockton
  * /ft/ (courtesy of Dad) Tifton

Words where syllabic /n/ is mandatory:

  * /Vt/ Peyton, button, kitten, Wooton, etc.
  * /Vd/ Hayden, hidden, sodden, wooden, and these days who could forget

I was trying to map out a story involving sequence gestures of glottis 
closure, velum raising or lowering, air pressure building behind tongue, 
but didn't come up with anything that explained all the data.


On 6/24/2014 3:54 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Didn't as [dIdInt]
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 7:29 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> I've heard this only in very emphatic speech.  And not often.
> I've heard it in ordinary speech all the time for all of my life.
> Fortunately for me, it's no more a pet peeve than "ain't" and is less
> interesting than the multi-negative is. OTOH, the replacement of ordinary
> "di-d-int" et sim. by "di-?-int" et sim. "bugs my head." At one time, the
> only black person that I've ever met who used glo?al stop is the same guy
> who pronounces "street" as "skreek." Unless you try to call it to his
> attention, when he then says "street" and denies *vehemently* that "skreek"
> is his normal pronunciation.
> IAC, then, his use of glo?al stop was merely part of his charm, like his
> use of "skreek," until the use of it by *other* people became de rigueur in
> hip-hop and rap and then spread into colloquial speech. Now, it's a pet
> peeve.
> Youneverknow.

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