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Even cultivated Indianians, particularly those of Southern antecedents, have the habit of clinging to their words; they do not bite them off sharply. . . . In New England and in Virginia the Italian a finds recognition, whereas in the intermediate region the narrower sound of the vowel prevails; and likewise the softening of r is noted in New England and among the Virginians and other Southerners, while in the intermediate territory and at the West r receives its full sound. The shrill nasal tone is still marked in the back country folk of New England, while the Southern and Southwestern farmer's speech is fuller and more open-mouthed. . . . At the South and in New England, where there is less mingling of elements, the old usages will probably endure much longer; and it is a fair assumption that in the Mississippi Valley and in the Trans-Missouri country, a normal American speech free of local idiosyncrasies will appear first.1

This New England dialect which has spread so widely through the West and North-west was summarized by Lowell in the following seven general rules:2

1. The genuine Yankee never gives the rough sound to the r when he can help it, and often displays considerable ingenuity in avoiding it even before a vowel.

2. He seldom sounds the final g, a piece of self-denial, if we consider his partiality for nasals. The same of the final d, as hana; and stana; for hand and stand.

3. The h in such words as while, when, where, he omits altogether.

4. In regard to a, he shows some inconsistency, sometimes giving a close and obscure sound, as hev for have, hendy for handy, ez for as, thet for that, and again giving it the broad sound it has in father, as hansome for handsome.

5. To the sound ou he prefixes an e (hard to exemplify otherwise than orally). . . .

6. Au in such words as daughter and slaughter, he pronounces ah.

7. To the dish thus seasoned add a drawl ad libitum.

The New England dialect may perhaps best be studied in such later writers as Rose Terry Cooke,3 Sarah Orne Jewett,4 and Mary E. Wilkins Freeman.5

1 Meredith Nicholson, The Hoosiers (1900), pp. 58-60.

2 The Biglow papers, first series, Introduction.

3 See Book III, Chap. VI.

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid.

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