Word-initial /grV/ vs. /drV/ in BE

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun May 2 04:24:56 UTC 2010

I once read somewhere or other (Mario Pei?) the the famous slave, Dred
Scott, was actually named "_Great_ Scott," with his forename respelled
on the basis of his own pronunciation in the BE of the time.

My own Texas reatives use "gr[E]t," with /-t/ > [d] before a following
voiced consonant. But the title of the blues song, "Grinder Man," can
be heard as "[d]rinder Man, according to who happens to be singing it,
e.g. John Lee Hooker.

Then there's Rick James, as seen on The Chappelle Show"

"... jump up and [g]rind my feet into somebody's couch ...? ,,, Yeah,
I remember [d]rinding my feet into Eddie's couch."

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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