Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Sep 20 18:43:39 UTC 2007

I'm going to let the spelling alone, since I have no idea how people
who say [sauf], etc., spell it, except in the case of my parents and
other relatives, since those still living continue to speak Southern
BE, even when, like my father, they think that they're speaking
"proppa" (or "propperr," as my mother would say when mocking / marking
my father) English. In fact, they write standard, but they don't

[Just heard a thirty-ish black woman say, "I tol' her, 'If this check
don' clear, I'm puttin' _The Peoples_ on you.'" "The Peoples"?! When
did it cease to be "The Man"? As that character on MadTV might say,
black speech is bein' took to th' H IN Ale - a 'ho' nuvva levvuh.]

My mother, still alive and, unfortunately, kicking at 95, uses the
described type of hypercorrection - i.e., re-analysis of a dialect
standard to match a misperceived standard standard - in words like
"jurdge" and "murch." Some speakers say "j[^i]dge," "m[^i]ch." Since
[i] often, if not usually, replaces [r] in words like "word," yielding
"woid," hypercorrection replaces the inserted [i] with inserted [r]
before palatals.

A feature for which I have no parts of no explanation is the one that
causes words like "flesh steady," etc. to be pronounced "flush study,"
etc. Cain't beat dat wif a sludge hamma.


On 9/20/07, Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: southmore
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > On 9/19/07, Mark Mandel <thnidu at> wrote:
> >> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> >> -----------------------
> >> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> >> Poster:       Mark Mandel <thnidu at GMAIL.COM>
> >> Subject:      Re: southmore
> >> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> >> ----------
> >>
> >> Do you mean, BE speakers treating /sauf/  as the "correct"
> >> pronunciation of
> >> "south" and hypercorrecting to that?
> On Sep 19, 2007, at 1:52 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
> > As the "correct" BE pronunciation, yes.
> i don't quite understand the claim here.
> i do understand that many BE speakers believe that the name of the
> compass point is (correctly) pronounced [sauf].  and i understand
> that many BE speakers pronounce the name of the second year of
> college [saufmo(r)].  one issue is the relationship between these two
> facts, and another is the relationship between these facts and the
> *spelling* {southmore}.
> one possibility is [saufmo(r)] originates as a variant pronunciation
> of [safmo(r)] (by what process i'm not sure).  the [sauf] portion of
> [saufmo(r)] would then be open to a reanalysis as the compass point
> [sauf], which is spelled {south}, so that the word pronounced [saufmo
> (r)] would be spelled {southmore}.  there's then a factual question:
> how do BE speakers who say [saufmo(r)] spell the word? (i'm assuming
> they spell the name of the compass point {south}.)
> or there might be variant pronunciation without following
> reanalysis.  that would give the pronunciation [saufmo(r)] and the
> standard spelling {sophomore} (or the extremely common spelling
> variant {sophmore}, which reflects the disyllabic variant
> pronunciation of the word).
> Another possibility is that things start when BE speakers hear other
> BE speakers saying [safmo(r)] and reshape the initial portion so as
> to something meaningful, namely [sauf], the name of the compass
> point.  that would lead to the spelling {southmore} for a word
> pronounced [saufmo(r)].  (this is the same sort of demi-eggcorn
> analysis that i suggested for [sauTmor], spelled {southmore}, in
> other varieties of english.)
> back to those other varieties.  i've now found a possible
> intermediate stage between "soph(o)more" and "southmore", namely "soth
> (o)more" (presumably with [T] rather than [f]).  modest number of
> hits, e.g.:
> and i've heard the Promo For Craig David's Sothomore LP, "Slicker
> than your Average", and its totally Brilliant
> Most of our family is being supportive of our homeschooling
> adventure. WE also have a 19 sothmore in college. We would like to
> hear from others .
> action=message&webtag=ab-homeschool&msg=11079
> arnold
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