LINGUIST List 5.1251

Mon 07 Nov 1994

Sum: "typewriter" and Canadian raising

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. , Summary: 'typewriter' and "Canadian" Raising

Message 1: Summary: 'typewriter' and "Canadian" Raising

Date: Mon, 7 Nov 94 15:30:05 ESTSummary: 'typewriter' and "Canadian" Raising
From: <>
Subject: Summary: 'typewriter' and "Canadian" Raising

I recently asked, as I do periodically, if anyone knows of
speakers who have different vowels in _rider_ and _writer_
(i.e., who have Canadian Raising, so called, for the diphthong
/ai/) but who use the vowel of _rider_ in the second syllable
of _typewriter_. I received a fair amount of mostly irate
comments from people who thought this was impossible. However,
I have found one speaker (who happens to be a linguist but
not a phonologist) who has this pronunciation. As it happens
he is not from Ontario, but from Illinois, but I believe that
his existence strengthens the case for the hitherto purely
hypothetical account I have proposed of how Joos came to
"invent" the non-existent Ontario dialect in which supposedly
_writer_ and _rider_ were homophonous. A careful reading of
Joos shows that the only example he actually cites is _typewriter_,
not _writer_! I thus believe that there must have been more speakers
who said _writer_ with a higher vowel, but both _rider_ and _typewriter_
with a lower one than my sole informant, and that this sporadic
pronunciation is what led to the birth of the whole myth about
rule ordering in Canadian English, which persists till now as THE
example of crucial rule ordering in the phonological literature.

It may not be as glamorous as the Eskimo snow word myth, but there
it is.
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue