[Ads-l] An extreme deletion in Philadelphia AAVE

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Tue Sep 5 03:11:43 UTC 2017

Yesterday in a local convenience store I heard a Black man standing near me
complaining to his buddies and apparently the world at large. I couldn't
understand all of what they were saying, but they'd been buying lottery
tickets and were talking about them. He said something about a winning
ticket with a huge value (a hundred million dollars??), and then he said he
couldn't find his [ãʔ]. I said "Excuse me, please, but what are you trying
to find?" "My [ãʔ]." "What?" "My [ãʔ]." I shook my head, still not
understanding. He repeated it several times, getting louder each time.
Finally it struck me and I put it together with something else I'd
overheard. His aunt had won this prize, and he couldn't get in touch with

     /ant/ Standard pronunciation (or with /æ/ or /ɑ/)
→  [anʔ]  The familiar change of final /t/ to a glottal stop
→  [ãʔn]  Familiar nasalization of a prenasal vowel
→  [ãʔ]   Deletion of the nasal consonant, common after nasalization of
preceding vowel

This is probably not news at all to many of the members of this list (I'm
especially looking at you, Wilson :-) ), but it was to me.


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

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