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

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jun 22 23:10:23 UTC 2008

On Sun, Jun 22, 2008 at 1:57 PM, Benjamin Zimmer
<bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "Regional speech may be fading, but..."
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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:
> http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/005129.html
> --Ben Zimmer

Very interesting stuff in the above URL, Ben. I wonder why it is,
though, that we (*not* including you, Ben, of course) amateurs always
tend to assume that certain "localisms," e.g. "hiya," "half-holiday,"
and "hollor"[sic], known from Maine to California, are peculiar only
to our own area of the country.


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