[Ads-l] Facebookery: _are_ > "our"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jun 19 20:41:37 EDT 2018

> On Jun 19, 2018, at 7:51 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Black male commenter, ca.45-50, a native of Arizona:
> "... they _our_ no longer working with the data ..."
> Chomsky, from Philly, also pronounces _our_ as "are." Trump, from NYC, my
> wife, from Wilkes-Barre, PA, and my mother, from Longview, TX, all
> pronounce, e.g. _huge_, as "yuge," but only Mom pronounces _humble_ as
> "umble."  It must take ten men and a boy to draw isoglosses for cases like
> these.

My own NYC dialect (b. 1945) has “our” and “are” as frequent homonyms—I’m pretty sure I vary between /aur/ and /a:r/ for the former, although not for the latter—but I have an /h/ in “huge”, “humble”, and “Hugh”, although I remember a number of my landsmen didn’t.  (The one that especially confused me as a child was the proper name “Hugh”, pronounced as a second-person pronoun.)

Speaking of haitches, is anyone familiar with non-Cockney varieties in which the latter H is pronounced with an initial /h/?  I’ve never heard that in the U.S. and the OED doesn’t list that as a variant, but an Australian podcast narrator who otherwise speaks standard Aussie English (as far as I can tell) consistently uses /heiC/ (or [heitʃ]) when pronouncing initialisms like “HIV” and “HPV”.


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

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