English retroflexion (was: Tampering with history)

jonathan silk jonathan.silk at YALE.EDU
Mon Jun 22 04:01:48 UTC 1998

>Jonathan, while driving down from the Bay area to LA over
>the weekend, I heard some children's rhymes over and over
>again - they seemed to be the only thing that would quieten
>our 20-month old daughter - and, sure, there is tons of
>retroflexion in American English, particularly so in kids
>speech... the song that struck me particularly was
>                Five little fishes ....
>                First one said the pool is cool
>                ...
>                Third one sai...
>The pronunciation of First and Third are so retroflexed in the
>children's singing that I unconsciously cringe ! ....


Let me just quote a Japanese proverb (there must be Skt equivalents??)

Todai moto kurashi  =  The area below the lighthouse is dark/the darkness
below the light tower : meaning of course, missing something which has been
right before your eyes (or in this case: ears!)

Jonathan SILK

****Note New Email Address***:

jonathan.silk at yale.edu

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