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Optimized-orl map with transitional area and blue sea and

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A map of the word orl \u05e2\u05e8\u05dc 'non-Jew' based on the LCAAJ data. This map has two significant improvements over the previous ones. First, this is made with the new base map which has almost all of the location names added so that one can more easily identify where Jews said what. Second, I've left only the borders of the major dialects in color, the rest is colorless \u2014 so as not to interfere with the colors of the dots. (In the previous maps, a yellow dot in the blue Northeastern area would appear greenish, for example.) Another minor improvement is the occasional use of another symbol (a triangle) to indicate a particular variation: vocalization of final /l/ to /u/ (presumably by way of /\u026b/) as in /uru/.

The word orl \u05e2\u05e8\u05dc has three main variants depending on the main vowel: O, U, or E. The standard form /orl/ (in green) is used only in Northeastern and to a some extent in Western, where the vowel is often lengthened by the following /r/. Central and Southeastern are dominated by U-forms (in pink/purple), also often with vowel lengthening. Central is notable for its many sorts of /l/; there is the velarized or dark /\u026b/ familiar from Polish; a palatalized /\u028e/; a syllablic /l\u0329/; and a voicless fricative /\u026c/ apparently pronunced like this:

Not much can be said about Southeastern because, for whatever reason, the data does not appear in the answer sheets. Perhaps the word was not used much in the Ukraine?

Most interesting are the E-forms which appear in every dialect, especially in the northern Northeasrn and in western Western (e.g., Alsace is all E). The simplest explanation is that /erl/ is a spelling pronunciation, since the word is spelled with an ayin \u2014 but that is unconvincing because Jews as a collective did not make such "mistakes," certainly not in dozens of farflung locations scattered over the map. Instead, the E-forms are probably very ancient and go back to the so-called Bney Hes, the Jewish community of Western Germany. Besides their pronunciation of the letter khes as /h/, the Bney Hes were also subject to a phenomenon which Beider calls E-Effect: the letter ayin was often pronounced /e/ regardless of the original Hebrew vowel associated with the letter. The fact that E-forms are concentrated on the outskirts of the major dialects, further from centers of innovation (except for Cracow), also suggests that they are old.

Other weird forms have a /h/ added /herl/, change the /r/ into another consonant (/v/ or /d/), or drop it entirely: /o\u02d1dl, o\u02d1l, ul, e\u02d1l/ etc. How all this happened to this poor word, I'll never know.

Unlike the word goy, there does not appear to be much phraseology associated with orl, perhaps because it was used mainly as a more polite alternative to the former. The only phrase in Stutchkoff's Thesaurus is: zay shomeye vos der orl iz maged 'listen to what the Gentile is saying' \u2014 used here because the Gentile is likely to understand the word goy and take offense.

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