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Re: USAGE: <o> in spoke; gotten [was: Re: Hear Me! Hear Me!]

From:Tristan McLeay <kesuari@...>
Date:Monday, June 24, 2002, 21:11
On Tue, 2002-06-25 at 02:47, Thomas R. Wier wrote:
> N.B. Three responses here: > > ============================================================== > Quoting Adrian Morgan <morg0072@...>: > > > This reminds me of a certain distinction between some [dia|idio]lects: > > > > For me, there is a rule that the "o" in "spoke": > > - cannot precede an /l/ in the same syllable, > > - but *can* precede an /l/ that is the start of the *next* syllable. > > > > This can be contrasted with dialects in which either the first or > > second half of this rule is void. > > Interesting. I suspect that it's not [l] that's the conditioning > environment, so much as how heavy the syllable should optimally > be. An [@u] is bimoraic, while [@ul] is trimoraic. Extraheavy > syllables like the latter are marked structures, and there is a > tendency to fix them somehow. In your dialect, this involves > velarization and assimilation of the [l] to the preceding [u]. > In many dialects of the American South, /o/ before liquids like > /l/ and /r/ is monophthongized to [o] (or perhaps with only > very slight diphthongization). Words, like "old", though, still > suffer from the same problem, so there the tendency is to delete > the final consonant to become [ol].
The thing is, at least in my speech which Adrian claims follows the first rule from my explanations of it, (a) it only happens before /l/ to my knowledge and (b) it remains a diphthong-length (I guess bi-moraic, but it feels more like it's one-and-a-half mora long).
> > Because of the second half, the diphthongs in the first syllables of > > "solo" and "polio" are for me the same "o" in "spoke". However, in a > > common alternative idiolect (i.e. common in Australia) this second half > > of the rule is void and the vowel [O] is used instead. > > What is the quality of the /l/ in "polar" and "polling"? For > me, they're different: the first is alveolar, the second is > velar. (This may constitute a minimal pair if we assume underlyingly > there is only one /l/ in each. Of course, it may be that the > verb "poll" actually has underlyingly two /l/s.)
For me, the /l/ in 'polar' is the velar (dark) one, in 'polling', it's alveolar. I imagine the presence of a /u/ in 'polar' is what darkens it. (In /pQl/ 'poll', it's stil alveolar).
> ===================================================================== > Quoting Tristan McLeay <kesuari@...>: > > > > I'm never sure about [E]. It's defined in my head as "halfway between > > > [e] and [{]", and I think you hear a lot of teenage girls using it in > > > place of [e] sometimes these days. But I'm pretty sure it doesn't > > > exist in my idiolect. > > > > I have been led to understand that the vowel in the word 'get' is /E/. > > It may well be that it is higher than [E], especially in Adelaide > > It certainly is in my (Texan) dialect. <get> is flagrantly [gIt], > no ifs or buts about it. (Which is odd, since original /E/ doesn't > usually shift to /I/ unless followed by a nasal. <let> is definitely > [lEt], for example.)
I was actually talking specifically about Australian English, there; (some) New Zullenders and (some) South Effrucans have it consistently higher, perceived by Aussies as /I/ (thus: 'sex' is heard as 'six' which is heard as 'sex' (it's /s@ks/), and makes for puns in poor taste). Tristan