"Regional speech may be fading, but..."

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sun Jun 22 17:57:35 UTC 2008

On Sun, Jun 22, 2008 at 1:23 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 20, 2008 at 4:47 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> >
> > Other than that dubious starting premise, this is a sorta fun piece
> > on the "Dutchified" English of Lancaster, PA and environs in today's
> > Times, with a lot of nice (if not particularly novel) data:
> > http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/06/20/travel/escapes/20rituals.html?scp=1&sq=Lancaster&st=nyt
> WRT the
> "here nah"
> cited in the article, my wife, from Kingston in the Wyoming Valley of
> the Susquehanna River, tells me that she and her children friends used
> to sing, to the tune of Boola-Boola, the following jingle:
> Heyna! Heyna!
> Heyna! Heyna!
> We're from Plymout'
> Pennsylvania!
> According to a local publication entitled "The [Wyoming] Valley,"
> _heyna_ is used by speakers of the Valley dialect to form tag
> questions:
> "The state of Wyoming was founded by people from The Valley, heyna?"

Wilson also directed our attention to the "Heynabonics" video on
YouTube last year. More on "heyna" in NE PA here:


--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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