antedating "donkey"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Feb 18 00:27:52 UTC 2013

On Feb 17, 2013, at 7:17 PM, Geoffrey Steven Nathan wrote:

> Although I don't have time at the moment to investigate this in detail, I believe this is part of a sporadic sound change that caught a number of /oHn/ words, including Montreal, Moncton and perhaps some others. Margaret says [d^nki] (she and Larry share the same geographic origins) so this may be somewhat regional as well. I have a reference on sound-spelling correspondences, but it's at my office or I could dig further into this.
> Geoff
> Geoffrey S. Nathan
> Faculty Liaison, C&IT
> and Professor, Linguistics Program
> +1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT)
> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Jonathan Lighter" <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
>> Sent: Sunday, February 17, 2013 6:48:04 PM
>> Subject: Re: antedating "donkey"
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
>> Subject: Re: antedating "donkey"
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> It's / 'd^Nki / for me. Always. My grandparents too.

Well, thanks to both of you for setting me straight.  I obviously haven't been hanging out with enough New Yorkers lately (or some would say I'd been hanging out with too many earlier).  I prefer this to be a regionalism I can wear proudly, like Mary/marry/merry, standing on line, and playing saluggi, rather than an idiosyncratic spelling pronunciation.

Geoff, please do let us know what other words may be involved if you get the chance.


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