'Cause you finds it <kinder> hard.

AntiScam

Senior Member
Arabic
Hello,
Just want to make sure kinder means kind of in this African American Vernacular poem

So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
‘Cause you finds it kinder hard.
Source: Mother to Son by Langston Hughes
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I haven't heard "kinder" in any southern black English, AntiScam, but I'm sure that word is Hughes' choice for "kind of" in this poem.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    To me, 'kinder/kinda", as a phonetic representation or the informal pronunciation of "kind of", is fairly common in many English dialects, including AAV. I'm sure I say it in that way myself.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Presumably the people who pronounce "kind of" as "kinder" would be the same people who pronounce "Angela" as "Angeler" and "Cuba" as "Cuber."
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    What is written as "kinder" represents "kind of" with the "of" sound "uv" reduced to an "ur" sound. It is very common.

    In almost every dialect of English, "kind of" spoken quickly changes from kain-duv to kain-du (often written "kinda"), where 'u' is a schwa (/ə/).

    In some regional dialects, that schwa becomes an 'ur' sound instead. Put the two together and "kind of" sounds like the word "kinder".

    President Kennedy's Cape Cod accent used this "ur" transition heavily. He pronounced "Cuba" as "Cuber", even in formal speeches.
     

    AntiScam

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    President Kennedy's Cape Cod accent used this "ur" transition heavily. He pronounced "Cuba" as "Cuber", even in formal speeches.
    Thank you all for your comments.

    Without listening, I don't think I could pick up that subtlety! and that's why I'd like to test myself and hear Kennedy say the word. I'm really curious. I'll try and see if I could find any speech where he uttered the word.


    Edit:

    I just watched the Youtube video Kennedy Addresses the Nation on the Cuban Missile Crisis, but I'm not sure I heard him say Cuba as Cuber


    Edit 2
    Could somebody type the IPA representation of Cuber as pronounced by Kennedy?
    Here's the IPA for Cuba as published by Longman's: ˈkjuːb ə
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    You should not be bothered too much about, or feel the need to imitate, a particular pronunciation of Cuba - that was merely a single example of how one accent/dialect pronounces "a" at the end of a word - and nothing to do with the original question.

    OED: Brit. /ˈkjuːbə/; U.S. /ˈkjubə/

    Kinder and kinda are simply phonetic representations of a word/sound that has no legitimate spelling. Because the author is limited to a standard alphabet, we cannot actually know the exact sound that the author was trying to replicate.

    How such representations are written is thus a matter for the author, although such spellings are usually subject to fashion and convention rather than any particular true representation - the spelling may change over time.
     

    AntiScam

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Because the author is limited to a standard alphabet, we cannot actually know the exact sound that the author was trying to replicate.

    How such representations are written is thus a matter for the author, although such spellings are usually subject to fashion and convention rather than any particular true representation - the spelling may change over time.
    Interesting, PaulQ. I like that. This must be common in creative writing.
    Thank you very much PaulQ, you've always been great help. I just learned that is called Intrusive-R or tactfully put, Liaison-R. I can dive in for more later; too much to take in in a busy schedule.
     
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