another dialect-related student query
Gordon, Matthew J.
GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Wed Dec 4 03:42:44 UTC 2002
From: Laurence Horn [mailto:laurence.horn at YALE.EDU]
Sent: Tue 12/3/2002 8:08 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: another dialect-related student query
...from a different student than the one who was wondering about
research on the pin/pen neutralization and the explanation of where
and why we find "git" for "get". (Anything on that?)
I don't remember the specifics of the earlier query but here's something.
The pin/pen merger associated with the South is said to be a 19th century development. Its current distribution can be examined at Labov's Telsur site. A couple of citations for the historical developments:
Brown, Vivian R. 1991 Evolution of the merger of /I/ and /E/ before nasals in
Tennessee. American Speech 66: 303–315.
Bailey, Guy 1997 When did Southern English begin? In: Edgar W. Schneider (ed.),
Englishes Around the World. Volume 1: General Studies, British Isles, North America. Studies in Honour of Manfred Görlach, 255–275. (Varieties of English around the World, General Series 18.) Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
For a deeper historical perspective, have a look at Krapp's _The English Language in America_ vol. 2, pp. 98ff
Krapp suggests that both the prenasal raising and the raising in 'get' are Irish-English features. He shows lots of examples from colonial American records suggesting [I] in, e.g., "meadows", "held", "red" etc. Interestingly he suggests that Ben Franklin had [I] in 'friend' and 'get'.
(Larry, please forward to your student whose email I can't find).
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