[Ads-l] "Might as well," re-analyzed; dialect clash

Geoffrey Steven Nathan geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU
Mon Nov 3 03:05:35 UTC 2014


Just to add to the discussion, let me point out that flap deletion is a frequent process in American English (see Nathan 2008: 98), so that 'might as well' is often something like

[maɪzwɛl] 

in Standard English also, and, of course, since /n/ is also flapped intervocallically in the same environments as /t,d/, and also subject to the same deletion process, the two 'phrases' would be homophonous except for nasalization. 

Nathan, Geoffrey S., 2008. Phonology: A Cognitive Grammar Introduction. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins. 

Geoff 

Geoffrey S. Nathan
Faculty Liaison, C&IT
and Professor, Linguistics Program
http://blogs.wayne.edu/proftech/
+1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT)

Nobody at Wayne State will EVER ask you for your password. Never send it to anyone in an email, no matter how authentic the email looks.


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

> From: "Laurence Horn" <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Sent: Sunday, November 2, 2014 9:42:13 PM
> Subject: Re: "Might as well," re-analyzed; dialect clash

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject: Re: "Might as well," re-analyzed; dialect clash
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

> On Nov 2, 2014, at 8:53 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:

> > A post to a Web page:
> >=20
> > "The show _minus well_ be called something different for every =
> episode."

> Believe it or not, there are cites for not only "minus well", but
> also =
> "mine as well" and "my as well", all on the eggcorn database under =
> http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/index.php?s=3Dminus+well&submit=3DSearch

> I'm not sure I'd call these official eggcorns, since the new form
> isn't =
> easier to assign a meaning to than the original (as Ben Zimmer points
> =
> out on the page); in fact I can't figure out what the speaker/writer
> has =
> in mind in these cases, e.g.=20

> With all due respect, any team that doesn=92t bring their A game to
> the =
> national championship minus well forfeit.

> well i guess i mine as well give up as this is looking hopeless.

> you my as well set yourself up with a cathador then have to run to =
> port-o-johns every 10 minutes=85
> [sic, sic]

> LH

> >=20
> > Since this is from the site, "Bl[ack-]Asian Narrative," I assume
> >=20
> > m[aI]t [@s] well > m[~a~I]t [@s] well > m[~a~In] [@s] well > =
> [m~a~In at s]
> > well,
> >=20
> > which is spelled "_minus_ well."
> >=20
> > The nasalization of vowels after nasals is one of the many =
> peculiarities of
> > BE that I've had to disabuse myself of, in talking to white people.
> >=20
> > One time, in Los Angeles, my date asked me ("&" =3D aesc),
> >=20
> > "[Iz T&t &@.miIs]?"
> >=20
> > For those who've come in late, the black bourgeoisie - "boojies" -
> > of =
> L.A.
> > use a version of BE that is *very* close to the local sE. So, what
> > I =
> heard
> > was sE "Is that" followed by "standard" BE, including the required
> > =
> drawling
> > melisma and breaking, "eye-a me-iss."
> >=20
> > "Is that 'eye-a mee-iss'?"
> >=20
> > I tried "air mist"? No. "Arrow miss(ed)"? No. "I/eye
> > a-mist/-missed"?
> >=20
> > IAC, it turned out that she was rhetorically asking whether I was =
> wearing
> > Aramis, a popular men's cologne of that era.
> >=20
> > --=20
> > -Wilson
> > -----
> > All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange
> > complaint =
> to
> > come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> > -Mark Twain
> >=20
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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