Re: Re[4]: [tied] Re: On the ordering of some PIE rules

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 48930
Date: 2007-06-08

On 2007-06-08 21:55, Andrew Jarrette wrote:

> You're right about the Canadian pronunciation of "sorry", "borrow",
> "tomorrow", but I've heard that pronunciation on American TV as well.
> To me a major difference between American and Canadian pronunciation is
> in the pronunciation of the vowel in "hot", "caught", "cloth", "top",
> "law", which I hear as /A:/ in most American English (with the same
> vowel as in "far"), but in Canadian English is pronounced further back
> in the mouth and often with some degree of lip-rounding (the amount of
> lip-rounding varies from person to person and with degree of
> education). The difference is really quite noticeable and immediately
> identifies someone as American vs. Canadian. However, I've heard the
> Canadian pronunciation among some Americans as well. Also many
> Americans pronounce /ae/ as /Ea/ or /E&/ or /E:/ in all words, which you
> virtually never hear anywhere in Canada (/ae/ is lower and often further
> back in most varieties of Canadian English, except before nasals and /r/
> where most easterners use the American pronunciation). But the Canadian
> pronunciation is also not infrequent among Americans I've heard on TV.
> I find California pronunciation to be most similar to my own Canadian
> pronunciation.

Many US accents are in the middle of a chain shift which involves, among
other interesting things, the fronting of the "lot" vowel (identical
with the unrounded vowel of "caught" and "law"), and the raising,
tensing and centring diphthongisation of lengthened /E:/ (from /æ/ in
various contexts, especially before voiceless fricatives and nasals). In
the northeastern states there's also a curious retraction of the vowel
of "bet", so that <better> sounds like <butter> (when I listened to
recordings of word-lists, where the words appeared out of context, I
_always_ thought it was <butter>).