Patio had no /ae/ way back when!

Peter Richardson prichard at LINFIELD.EDU
Fri Jun 16 17:02:14 UTC 2000

Mike said:>
> Peter, maybe it's a good thing you gave your birth year when you said
> you're a native speaker of northern Illinois-ese. You were a WW II baby;
> Depression babies from the same area grew up speaking a dialect with
> major differences from the one you learned a decade later.

Comment much appreciated, Mike. It's essential, of course, to attach a
generation to these assertions of "nativeness." The disappearance of the
aspirated bilabial in "which" (scientific generation label: young
whippersnapper) is persuasive, as are many other features remarked on
these very screens over the past few months. I certainly recognize the
features you remark as native northern Illinois-ese, but my generation
waded in with its own version, as do generations everywhere. When we
assert certain dialect characteristics in the classroom, the age of the
speaker can't be disregarded.

I like your root/root distinction: the beer vs. the plant part; I'd
forgotten that one.

> between /s/ and /z/ in "greasy"; Peggy usually doesn't.  When we drink
> root beer, my "root" rhymes with "boot", but Peggy's "root" rhymes with
> "foot". When we talk about what's at the lower end of a plant, however,
> "root" rhymes with "foot" for both of us.  In parallel with my "root",
> "roof", for both of us, sometimes rhymes with "goof" and sometimes
> rhymes with -- hmm.  Funny, I can't think of a rhyme for our alternate
> pronunciation! I guess that's a good place to stop.
Hoof, maybe? Then we get into its plural, and the roofs/rooves
problem. Ah, summer...


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