another dialect-related student query

Gordon, Matthew J. GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Wed Dec 4 03:42:44 UTC 2002

-----Original Message-----
From:   Laurence Horn [mailto:laurence.horn at YALE.EDU]
Sent:   Tue 12/3/2002 8:08 PM
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).

More information about the Ads-l mailing list