Aaron E. Drews aaron at LING.ED.AC.UK
Fri Feb 11 11:05:19 UTC 2000

On Thu, 10 Feb 2000, Anne Lambert wrote:

}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?

Isn't a lot (most?) language change generational?  Herold (1990) (as cited
in Labov 1994: 323) shows how the caught-cot merger differs between a
father and son, so that distinction is generational, although it started
off as regional. Fifty years from now, it might be like hw-w, in that it's
generational, and only in a defined region.


Aaron E. Drews                               The University of Edinburgh
aaron at                  Departments of English Language and       Theoretical & Applied  Linguistics


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