Wednesday, April 8, 2009

-- "R" sounding like "L" (and do you say "purse" or "pocketbook"?)

Well, I'm still glued to blip.fm. And here's something I noticed when listening to "Ringa Ringa Ringa" from the Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack:

When I first heard this, I thought they were saying "Rlinga Rlinga Rlinga" -- it wasn't until I glanced at the name on the CD that I realized otherwise.

Listen to the audio clip and let me know what you think. It does sound like "rlinga rlinga rlinga" does it not?

Then I wondered, could this be evidence of the R in an intermediary state as it moves from Europe towards Asia, where R's often sound like L's?
Language is fascinating to me. I took a linguistics class once and the professor said you could tell where someone was from in the U.S. based on what words they used, like (among others):
  • purse vs. pocketbook
  • sub vs. hoagie
  • water ice vs. slurpee
  • bucket vs. pail
  • soda vs. pop
Which do you prefer? Next post I'll try to list what this says about where you're from.

6 comments:

Rachel said...

I say purse, sub (really I would just say sandwich), slurpee, bucket, and soda.

However, my brother-in-law says pocketbook all the time. He also says sneakers rather than tennis shoes.

I love linguistics. Unless people call all soda Coke.

"What kind of Coke would you like? Sprite or Pepsi?"

Rachel said...

BTW: My husband is from Bangladesh and he can't pronounce a wo sound. Anytime he tries to say wood or woman it sounds more like ood or oman.

It makes me giggle.

geekhiker said...

2nd try at commenting (dumb blogger)

Hmmmm... puse, sub, slurpee, bucket, soda.

Ever seen the soda vs. pop map?

http://tastyresearch.files.wordpress.com/2006/10/popvssodamap.png

deva said...

i'm also a quasi-linguistics nerd.

my answers:
- purse (although, i usually just call them bags)
- sub (or sandwich)
- slurpee (what is a water ice? that's not what 7-11 calls them...)
- bucket (i don't think i've EVER said pail)
- soda

i've had many discussions like this with my friends. it's so interesting!

hebba said...

I've lived all over the country and often I just listen to what folks are saying and then just adopt the local terminology. It saves alot of time explaining. But in general: pocketbook, sub, slurpee, pail, soda.

And I loved everything about SLumdog. The music, the story, the actors, the dance at the end.

spleeness said...

This is so interesting! I should compile a list and add "sneakers" vs. "tennis shoes," etc. I should see if I can dig up my old Linguistics notes.

Part two of this subject is now posted here.

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