Means Doesn’t Rhyme with New Orleans Addendum

In “Means Doesn’t Rhyme with New Orleans”, we talk with Lisa Sprowls, PhD student at Tulane University about New Orleans English(es), especially Yat and the Garden District dialects, and speakers perception of New Orleans dialects.

There were a few jargon-y bits so here’s more info:

The distribution of -r

When we talk about r-fullness or r-lessness, we are talking about whether or not the ‘r’ sound is pronounced when it is postvocalic, aka after a vowel. E.g. “star” is pronounced like “staw”.

We also talked about this at length in episode 23, “Rock ‘n’ Rhotic”.

Short split a

The short a sound like in “have” is the same sound in “halve” in most American dialects. However, in New Orleans (and New York and Philly), there is a split and the two a sounds are different.

Curl-coil reversal

When “oil” is pronounced with the sound that is found in “curl” in most American dialects. “Oil” then sounds like “Earl”.

Verbal guise task

Participants are made to listen to speech samples and then asked to rate the speakers on various traits. This is used to gauge their attitudes toward a certain language, dialect, accent.

I hope this helps! As always, reach out if you have any questions/comments.


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