[Ads-l] Pronunciation of "faith" and "also" in parts of Alabama

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Mar 2 19:51:07 UTC 2016


> On Mar 2, 2016, at 2:19 PM, Charlie Law <chaslaw at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> [Ugh. Still got these pesky character-encoding probs. Here's another try.]
> 
> Thanks, Walter! That's an explanation that makes sense to me.
> 
> It shows how hypercorrection doesn't follow the derivational pattern that
> it's evidently motivated by: "width" < "wide", "breadth" < "broad",
> ="fai[t]th" < ???.
> 
> Now, can you tell me what's going on with "al[t]so"?
> 
> Similar case: in Florence, Alabama, and in Shelby, NC, I heard this
> pronunciation of the 28th president's surname: "Wil[t]son". This must be
> the same inland Southern (piedmont, not mountain) dialect that I hear in
> upstate S.C.

Those really do involve excrescent stop consonants (see WB's (1) below), which often occur between sonorants (nasals, laterals like [l], etc.) and fricatives (like [s]), sometimes but not always represented in the spelling.  It's why the nouns from "assume" or "redeem" are "assumption" and "redemption" with epenthetic [p]'s, why there are jokes about how a good doctor must have a lot of patients/patience [these being homophones], why "sense" is often homophonous with "scents", and so on.  The [p] or [t] in such cases is "excrescent" in that it grows out of the collision between the two consonants, yielding an easier articulation of the sonorant + fricative sequence (or sequents).  (I'm not a phonetician, nor do I play one on TV; maybe Herb or someone with similar credentials can pop in here.)

LH

> 
> 
> On Wed, Mar 2, 2016 at 7:07 PM, Charles Law <chaslaw at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Charles Law <chaslaw at GMAIL.COM>
>> Subject:      Re: Pronunciation of "faith" and "also" in parts of Alabama
>> 
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> 
>> Thanks, Walter! That=E2=80=99s an explanation that makes sense to me.=20
>> 
>> It shows how hypercorrection doesn=E2=80=99t follow derivational pattern
>> that it=E2=
>> =80=99s evidently motivated by: =E2=80=9Cwidth=E2=80=9D <
>> =E2=80=9Cwide=E2=80=9D, =E2=80=9Cbreadth=E2=80=9D < =E2=80=9Cbro=
>> ad=E2=80=9D, =E2=80=9Cfai[t]th=E2=80=9D < ???.=20
>> 
>> Now, can you tell me what=E2=80=99s going on with
>> =E2=80=9Cal[t]so=E2=80=9D?=20
>> 
>> Similar case: in Florence, Alabama, and in Shelby, NC, I heard this
>> pronunc=
>> iation of the 28th president=E2=80=99s surname:
>> =E2=80=9CWil[t]son=E2=80=9D.
>> 
>> (Yes, the bowtie is nice, except that it gets Alpo stains when I eat my
>> bre=
>> akfast.)
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On 3/2/16, 4:48 PM, "American Dialect Society on behalf of W Brewer"
>> <ADS-L=
>> @LISTSERV.UGA.EDU on behalf of brewerwa at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>> 
>>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> ------------------=
>> -----
>>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>> Poster:       W Brewer <brewerwa at GMAIL.COM>
>>> Subject:      Re: Pronunciation of "faith" and "also" in parts of Alabama
>> 
>>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------=
>> -----
>>> 
>>> Well, looks like the dialectologists are hibernating, so this is my
>>> opportunity to consult my trusty old Arthur Bonstein handbook.
>>> RE: <faith> ~ <fai[t]th>:
>>> (1) Probably not an "excrescent [t]", that just grew in there as a
>>> homorganic interdental t, for some unknown reason.
>>> (2) Possibly, hypercorrection. Bronstein notes that "In careless or
>>> indistinct speech, the /t/ or /d/ may be lost, especially when final or in
>>> certain clusters, as in ... <eighth, width, breadth> ..." Note how
>>> <eight+th> is even written <eighth>, but some people may feel it sounds
>>> better to stick the plosive <t> back in; and, not only that, add one into
>>> <faith> for good measure. Can't think of any better parallels offhand.
>>> Cute bow tie, Charlie.
>>> 
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
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>> 
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=AwIBaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=l6Y9TPWqtJ20tCaimBBfyws2ZC8wDmL5lL6Qj_5Y43o&s=pBzY2DDdh7vRcLuZbx2GpcSJEtXt1viDWTaonXNiLu0&e= 
>> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> *Tired? There's a nap for that.*
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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