"gwine"'

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Feb 11 02:13:55 UTC 2006


The song's composer, Stephen Foster, wrote "gwine." On the long-ago
occasions when I've sung the song, I've always followed that spelling.
I can't recall ever having heard a recording of it. Reminds me of a
joke, though:

Square:  Does the crosstown busline pass this way?

Hipster:  Doo-dah. Doo-dah.

If "goin'" outnumbers "gwine" on Google, I'd attribute that to recent
political correctness, given that "gwine" is original.

-Wilson



On 2/10/06, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: "gwine"'
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Just remembered the song "Camptown Races", with the chorus
>
> Going to run all night, Going to run all day
> I bet my money on the bob-tailed nag Somebody bet on the bay
>
> How is "going" pronounced in recordings?  My
> memory hears "gwayen", one syllable, with the
> "aye" as in "aye, aye, captain" or the German
> "ein".  Although I imagine some sing it quickly as "go-in".
>
> And there are 257 Google hits for "camptown
> races" words gwine (but 22,300 for "camptown races" words going).
>
> Joel
>
> At 2/10/2006 06:30 PM, you wrote:
> >---------------------- Information from the mail
> >header -----------------------
> >Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> >Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> >Subject:      Re: Not quite, but quite close
> >-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >I was commenting on the [w]. The pronunciation that I consider to be
> >"standard," i.e. the way that I pronounce it, in BE is like [gOIn].
> >The [i] in my original post is a slip. As for "gwine," I have heard it
> >as [gwain], but I've heard it most often with the long vowel for which
> >I have no symbol, but which, in eye-dialect, is usually represented as
> >"ah."
> >
> >I once had occasion to chat for a few minutes with someone who, to my
> >ear, actually did use the stereotypical [a] and who also used the
> >stereotypical, "Wah, ah swahn!" I know that she was from Georgia, but
> >her phenotype was such that I couldn't tell whether she was black or
> >white on the basis of our very brief, one-on-one interaction.
> >
> >BTW, if anybody is interested, it's possible to go to the iTunes store
> >and listen to songs by Memphis Minnie, who is a representative "gwine"
> >user. Or you can go to Towerrecords.com, etc. and do the same thing.
> >
> >-Wilson
> >
> >
> >
> >On 2/10/06, Alice Faber <faber at haskins.yale.edu> wrote:
> > > ---------------------- Information from the
> > mail header -----------------------
> > > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > > Poster:       Alice Faber <faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU>
> > > Organization: Haskins Laboratories
> > > Subject:      Re: Not quite, but quite close
> > >
> > -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > >
> > > Funny, I read Wilson's post as a comment on the diphthong in "going"
> > > having an unexpected nucleus /OI/ rather than /aI/, not the non-standard
> > > /w/ onset. I'm more familiar with this alternation in British than
> > > American dialectology (Labov's LINE/LOIN stuff), but it does occur
> > > elsewhere. Of course, as the spelling "gwine" *is* stereotypical, it
> > > doesn't tell us anything about what the actual vowel nucleus was in
> > > these interviews.
> > >
> > > Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> > > > A quick search of the WPA Slave Narratives here:
> > > >
> > > >   http://rs6.loc.gov/ammem/mesnquery.html
> > > >
> > > >   reveals 100 interviews featuring the
> > spelling "gwine."  The interviews were carried
> > out in most of the Southern states, but the
> > majority of the "gwines" seem to be from South Carolina and Arkansas.
> > > >
> > > >   Yeah, yeah, the spelling may have been
> > influenced by literary stereotypes, but the
> > continued exisence of [gwOin] as documented by
> > Wilson (and maybe DARE - I haven't had a chance
> > to look) strongly suggests that at least some
> > of the former slaves really did say "gwine" or something like it.
> > > >
> > > >   JL
> > > >
> > > > Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> > > >   ---------------------- Information from
> > the mail header -----------------------
> > > > Sender: American Dialect Society
> > > > Poster: Wilson Gray
> > > > Subject: Not quite, but quite close
> > > >
> > -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > > >
> > > > A black woman on this morning's Springer:
> > > >
> > > > "We _[gwOin]_ through the same thing."
> > > >
> > > > This woman also pronounced the second syllable of "confuse" as though
> > > > it was the second syllable of French "confuse." I.e. she pronounced
> > > > [yu] as front rounded [ΓΌ] or as German umlaut "ue." I've also heard
> > > > many, many, many instances of [Cyu] > [Cru], e.g. [k at nfyuz] >
> > > > [k at nfruz], in BE.
> > > >
> > > > This is quite interesting, given Portuguese "frasco" vs. Italian
> > > > "fiasco." Although there's no reason to doubt that Late Latin (or
> > > > Proto-Romance, etc.) /ClV/ went directly to Portuguese [CrV], /ClV/ >
> > > > /CyV] > [CrV] is now seen as a possibility.
> > > >
> > > > -Wilson Gray
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > >
> > ==============================================================================
> > > Alice Faber                                    faber at haskins.yale.edu
> > > Haskins Laboratories                           tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
> > > New Haven, CT 06511 USA                        fax (203) 865-8963
> > >
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> > >
> >
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>
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