Heard on The Judges: POSS = 0; trivial

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 1 22:39:51 UTC 2010

Thirty-ish, black male speaker (from metropolitan Chicago?):

"Who car it is?! Who car it is?! It's your *brother* car. *That's* who
car it is!"

Nothing to see here, folks. It's just that I was struck by the
speaker's getting three chances to go for _whose_ and one for [z]
after "brother," passing, each time. Yet he deletes not a single
instance of _is_. Not that I would have expected him to, except,
possibly, but not likely, after _that_, Labov having slain the
_be-drop_ dragon dekkids ago.

My WAG that the speaker is a native of Chicago is based on his
William-Peterson-like pronunciation of "car" as approx. [k&r], with
aesc. Except for "your" [yow], his speech was otherwise fully rhotic.
Back in the day, when I was accustomed only to Saint Louis English,
the [k&r]-pronunciation of visiting Chicagoans was a *striking*
feature of their speech, so much so that, when I heard the speech of
William Peterson on the first episode of CSI, I said to my wife "He's
from Chicago." In fact, he's from Evansville. But I was close enough
for government work.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"––a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
–Mark Twain

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

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