Halloween pronunciation

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Fri Nov 2 22:08:46 UTC 2001

Backwards you have it. In the NCVS the /ae/ vowel (of "cat") moves
forward and up (to the /e/ of "bet" or even to the height of the /I/
of "bit"). I hear Halloween around here (Lansing, MI) as "Helloween"
or even "Hillloween" all the time. They are all, however,
underlyingly /ae/ pronunciations.


>Could the questions here be related to the so-called 'Northern Cities vowel
>shift'? I gather the NCVW moves the cat vowel (ae) into the territory of the
>(a) as in 'father' vowel.
>Laurence Horn:
>>At 10:37 AM -0600 11/2/01, Donald M. Lance wrote:
>>>James Smith wrote:
>>>>  I've never heard it pronounced as Holloween.  Where is
>>>>  this being heard?
>>>All over every voice medium I've heard -- local and national.
>>Right, but it should be noted that it's often a bit tricky to tell,
>>given the fact that the first syllable doesn't get primary stress.
>>It's easier to tell with All Hallows/Hollows.
>Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp

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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