Fricative voicing in *houses*

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIO.EDU
Wed May 10 21:39:24 UTC 2006

At 02:34 PM 5/10/2006, you wrote:
>From:    Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>>Among speakers of American Black English, the plural of the noun, "house,"
>>is "hou[z]es." Likewise, the verb, "(to) house," is "hou[z]e." I personally
>>did not become aware of the validity of the pronunciation of the plural as
>>"hou[s]es" till perhaps ten years ago. Before then, if ever I noticed that
>>anyone pronounced "houses" as "hou[s]es," either it didn't register or I
>>assumed that the speaker was working-class or lower, therefore not a speaker
>>of standard American White English whose pronunciation I needed to be able
>>to emulate in formal settings.
>I (grew up in Maryland, south of DC, in the 70s) consistently say
>hou[z]es and hou[z]e's, but hou[s]ewives; Jeanne (grew up in Maryland,
>north of Baltimore, in the 70s), my wife, says hou[s]e's and
>hou[s]ewives, but seems to be pretty much free variation between
>hou[z]es and hou[s]es.
>If i was still out in Utah, i'd do a study of Boi[s]e vs. Boi[z]e. In my
>experience, Boiseans (at least the upper- and upper-middle-class ones i
>had contact with) are pretty emphatic that the pronunciation is Boi[s]e,
>and i would repeatedly and firmly have my Boi[z]e-pronouncing self
>corrected on it. However, my observation is that Boiseans themselves
>show variation on this (and, in fact, a small study an undergrad from
>Boise did for one of my classes seems to support this).
>David Bowie                               
>     Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
>     house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
>     chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.
>The American Dialect Society -

I assume Syracuse might also be [s] or [z], New Yorkers?

The American Dialect Society -

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