vowel raising/fronting

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 13 23:06:24 UTC 2006

When I was a child, I was under the impression that the name of the
right jolly old elf, to coin a phrase, was "Sannih Claw." In some
Southern dialects of BE, this pronunciaation has come to mean
"Christmas gift." The Other Sonny Boy Richardson has a Christmas blues
song about trying to find his "sanih claw," the context making it
clear that he's looking for his Christmas gift. The exact form that
this gift will take is left as an exercise for the listener.


On 12/13/06, Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: vowel raising/fronting
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On 12/13/06, James Smith <jsmithjamessmith at yahoo.com> wrote:
> >Michael H Covarrubias <mcovarru at PURDUE.EDU> wrote:
> > >
> > > I first heard "Santy Claus" for 'Santa Claus' years
> > > ago.  (It was probably
> > > "sanny".)  That was when I was in junior high.
> >
> > Gene Autry says "Santy" in his recording titled "Here
> > comes Santa Claus", which dates back to the 50's..
> And don't forget the sanity clause.
> http://www.nightattheopera.net/contract.html
> --Ben Zimmer
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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