Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 1 06:37:52 UTC 2009

It should be noted that every dictionary with a pronunciation guide is showing a "standard dialect,"  especially "talking" dictionaries.  So should they be banned as being preferential.  No way.

The concept of a standard dialect is wonderful, because it gives us a model.  Our personal, family, or regional dialects are not of choice but chance.  I went to college in East Tenn and enjoyed the dialect very much, but I heard the same accent on TV News as I heard in Conn - standard.  If language is to evolve we certainly have the means now more than ever in media and schools to guide it (but without guidance we also have the means more than ever to spread accents such as to make our language far less intelligible).  Certainly pronunciation should be guided to be more in concert with the alphabetical principle, even if it means saying the "t" in "often".  That's what the letters always intended to do.

Meanwhile my choir master tries to get us to better our pronunciation but also says not to say final "r", say "uh".  So we do it, but I don't get it.  As far as latin goes, I sang it in grammar school.  Now at least I can spell it in truespel so it's phonetically readable.  ~taantuem airgoe saakrummentuem...~   ~Pees uv kaek~  But all songs should be translated into the language of the listener.  Please, if possible.  "Silent Night" is very nice in English.

Remind me when I get back to my PC to send evidence that loosing nonstandard dialects is advantageous.  I'm on the laptop now.  I think that if folks are smart enough to sing latin, finnish, and german, they can learn a standard accent besides their local one; especially, like My Fair Lady, if there's lifestyle improvement chances in it for them.

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+

> Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 10:55:21 -0400
> From: hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
> Subject: Re: sumetary
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Herb Stahlke
> Subject: Re: sumetary
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> So, Tom, are you going to tell 100 million or so proud Southerners
> that they have to start pronouncing final /r/ and that they can no
> longer say /raad/ for "ride"? Or will you perhaps tell Eastern New
> Englanders to drop their intrusive /r/ and stop pahking cahs? You
> will, of course, require most of the population west of the
> Mississippi to distinguish caught and cot. There are those who would
> legislate English as the official language of the US and the only
> language to be used in matters of government. You're taking this a
> step farther. You want an official dialect. But where is your
> evidence that dialect differences have caused disruption to civil
> peace in this country? Most of us are bidialectal, at least
> receptively. We understand with ease more than one dialect of English
> and may even be able to speak more than one well.
> Sound change is a fact of language and always has been. No one has
> ever been able to stop it. Forcing a particular pronunciation works
> in very specialized, narrow venues. When my choir sings Latin
> religious texts, I train them in the 18th c. Roman pronunciation that
> is standard for Church Latin, unless we sing a setting by a German or
> Finnish composer, in which case we use the pronunciations of Latin
> that are standard in those traditions. Even singing in English, I try
> hard to get them not to use /r/ after a vowel because of what it does
> to vocal resonance. They let me get away with all this, but if I
> tried to tell them they had to speak everyday English with choral
> diction they'd probably find a new choir director.
> Sound change has always gone on and always will. We've been studying
> it with some precision for about two centuries now. Even the Northern
> Cities Vowel Shift is probably more than a century old, so it was
> going on long before whole language approaches to reading came on the
> scene and beginning reading was taught with some variety of phonics.
> Of course, I remember hearing a Southern Indiana teacher telling her
> students that some people claimed that "pin" and "pen" were pronounced
> differently but that we all knew that wasn't really so.
> Herb
> On Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 9:23 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>> Sender: American Dialect Society
>> Poster: Laurence Horn
>> Subject: Re: sumetary
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> At 6:54 AM +0000 3/31/09, Tom Zurinskas wrote:
>>>Thanks, Herb, for that interesting clip in which Bill ~Lubbaaf talks
>>>about the Great Lake Northern Cities Vowel Shift (for short vowels).
>>>(I didn't see his last name spelled but I can spell it phonetically
>>>in truespel). He says that around the great lakes cities certain
>>>vowels are changing. This area contains cities such as Cleveland,
>>>Detroit, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffaloe (about 34M people). It used
>>>to be the USA English standard pronunciation for media. Some
>>>examples are:
>>>saying "block" the same as "black"
>>>saying "buses" the same as "bosses"
>>>Other short vowels are swapping too. ~Lubbaaf says we are growing
>>>apart linguistically even with massive media exposure. To me this
>>>is a bad thing. It should be changed and can be changed.
>>>I speculate that the main reason for this is that many schools have
>>>dropped phonetic or phonic instruction for teaching reading and gone
>>>with "whole language" or "whole word" approach. This forbids
>>>teaching the alphabetic principle that letters stand for sounds, so
>>>kids are taught that they have to learn words visually, and thus
>>>pronunciation is not linked to spelling and can vary capriciously.
>>>Huge mistake.
>> And of course we know from the findings of historical linguistics
>> that there's a strong correlation between the presence or absence of
>> phonic instruction and the likelihood of sound change... ;-)
>> LH
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