Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Mon Sep 24 14:15:14 UTC 2007

On Sep 24, 2007, at 4:55 AM, Charles Doyle wrote:

> Of course.  Inexact rhymes also proliferate in folklongs and
> ballads, C&W songs, and rap lyrics...
> ---- Original message ----
>> Date: Sun, 23 Sep 2007 11:51:18 -0700
>> From: "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
>> On Sep 23, 2007, at 10:47 AM, Charles Doyle wrote:
>>> Well, an old song of The Mamas and the Papas rhymed "sophomore"
>>> with "Swarthmore" (Mama Cass's purported alma mama).
>> well, there's a question here about what you mean by "rhyme".  i'm
>> guessing you mean that "sophomore" and "Swarthmore" occur in
>> positions in the song's pattern where rhyming words would be
>> called for.  but that doesn't mean they actually rhyme; half-rhyme
>> is all over the place, especially in rock music...

your reply misses the point.  i wasn't just pointing out the
existence of half-rhyme, but asking which of two claims you were making.

to reiterate: the question is what you meant by saying that the Ms
and Ps "rhymed X and Y".  i gave my guess at your intended
interpretation; was i right?  that is, you were *not* claiming that
the Ms and Ps pronounced "sophomore" and "Swarthmore" identically
except for the initial onset -- right?

note that "X and Y rhyme" requires identity of the relevant portions
of the words.  but for me, "N rhymed X and Y" can mean *either* that
N produced X and Y as relevantly identical *or* that N treated X and
Y as equivalent for the purposes of the rhyme scheme, even when they
aren't relevantly identical.

for me, "Donny" and "tawny" don't rhyme.  that is, for me, the
following sentence is false:
   "Donny" and "tawny" rhyme.
but the following would be true if N is someone with neutralization
of /a/ and /O/:
   N rhymes "Donny" and "tawny".
and this sentence would also be true if N is *not* a neutralizer but
sometimes treats the two words as rhyme-equivalent in songs.


The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list