English retroflexion

Jacob Baltuch jacob.baltuch at EURONET.BE
Sat Jun 20 21:27:27 UTC 1998

>As a native speaker of American English,
>I am not aware of any retroflexion in my speech.

Maybe you don't speak a U.S. dialect that has it.
Generally mid-Western does, yes sir...

Incidentally, about everytime someone mentions
U.S. English as an example for some linguistic
feature (I noticed that on other lists too)
some "native speaker of American English" interjects
that "as a native speaker of American English" he
is not aware of the feature in question in his
speech. It seems there is a huge conspiracy to
misrepresent U.S. English in linguistic textbooks
so maybe people should stop quoting U.S. examples :-)

I wonder if it's not some kind of paranoia. After all
it should seem odd that someone could be accurately
informed on Pugliese, Calabrese, Sardo, Asturian, Swedish,
Russian, Polish and Mandarin Chinese but get it completely
wrong when it comes to U.S. English (not exactly an obscure
exotic language). If someone quoted French as an example
for a linguistic feature that I didn't immediately
recognize, I think my first reaction would not be that he is
necessarily ignorant. I would probably wonder first
if the feature in question might not be present in a dialect
with which I wasn't familiar or even if I understood correctly
what he was talking about.

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