Anne Lambert annelamb at GNV.FDT.NET
Thu Feb 10 21:56:42 UTC 2000

Speaking of hw-w distinguishers,  I have been told that this is a generational
difference.  I always thought that it was a regional difference; most people I
know from the Northeast don't use it, but I, from Chicago, do.  I think maybe
this is a feature that started in the Northeast and may have migrated west over
the generations.  Any comments?

"Dennis R. Preston" wrote:

> This response is a mystery to me. If they are merged, the pun (if there is
> one there) should be clear (merging leads to clarity for once!); if they
> are not merged, the pun might be missed. For example, fresh up from
> Louisville, I didn't get the very old racist Native American joke (when it
> was told to me in Madison, WI) about a tribe named the "Fugawi" because the
> punch-line is "Where the Fugawi" which must be "misunderstood" as "We're
> the Fugawi." Since I'm a hw-w distinguisher, I didn't get it. (I know,
> friends will immediately tell the list there are other reasons In didn't
> get it, but you can ignore them.)
> dInIs (who still distinguishes whale-wail, which-witch, after all these
> years but notices that his nieces and nephews in Lousville don't anymore;
> the language really is going to hell in a handbasket after all! Plato
> rules!)
> >It's precisely your (and my) differentiation of the two sounds that makes
> >this a pun.  If you merged the two vowels, it wouldn't be a pun for
> >you--just a new instance of homophony.  Or maybe it would be what might be
> >called an "orthographic pun."  (Is there a word for that?  Here we go
> >again....)
> >
> >Anyway, thanks for answering my question.
> >
> >Peter Mc.
> >
> >--On Wed, Feb 9, 2000 4:09 PM -0700 David Bowie <db.list at BYU.EDU> wrote:
> >
> >> so it seems to be a pun on
> >> "ostracism".
> >>
> >> Of course, i don't merge "cot" and "caught", so it's not a perfect pun to
> >> my ears...
> >
> >
> >
> >****************************************************************************
> >                               Peter A. McGraw
> >                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
> >                            pmcgraw at
> Dennis R. Preston
> Department of Linguistics and Languages
> Michigan State University
> East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
> preston at
> Office: (517)353-0740
> Fax: (517)432-2736

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