Root Words

Alan H. Hartley ahartley at
Wed Oct 7 15:23:43 UTC 2009

Rankin, Robert L. wrote:

> As for the a and y, it is pretty common in Indian languages of the
> Southeast for the sound [a] to be written with a y in colonial
> sources.  The reason is that the English diphthong [ay], as in the
> pronoun "I", is pronounced [a:], often written "ah" in comic-book
> English, by people who speak with a "southern accent".

Hi, Bob. I believe the monophthongization of [ay] (part of the "Southern 
Shift") didn't take place till well into the nineteenth century.


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