eye dialect

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Mon Mar 26 00:54:36 UTC 2001

>I use 'dialect' very broadly (to cover social and stylistic levels).
>I think I'm not alone. For me, thereefore, since 'gonna' reflects an
>actual pronunciation difference (however badly), it is not

dInIs (whose respelled name is rather obviously not eye-dialect for
the 'I' but is for the single 'n'))

>In a message dated 2/23/01 7:31:43 AM, preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU writes:
><< Unfortunately, some have started to use the term "eye-dialect" to
>refer to respellings which attempt to capute some fact of
>pronunciation (e.g., allegro speech forms such as "gonna" or actual
>regional prpmunciaion "tahm' for "time").  >>
>I would called GONNA eye dialect but not TAHM for TIME. GONNA (like -IN' for
>-ING) is a universal feature not usually expressed in the formal writing
>system, so writing GONNA adds nothing to the characterization of the
>utterance as "dialect" per se, only the formality level; it thus suggests the
>flavor of "dialect" without actually being dialect. TAHM, however, reflectgs
>actual dialect features.

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at pilot.msu.edu
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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