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Re: OT: YAEPT: English low vowels (was briefly: Re: Y/N variants (< OT: English a...

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Thursday, December 13, 2007, 23:23
On Dec 13, 2007 5:42 PM, T. A. McLeay <conlang@...> wrote:

> Mark J. Reed wrote: > > > Right. Not all Americans have the LOT/THOUGHT merger, not even those > who > > have the PALM/LOT merger. This is why there are so dadgum many lexical > sets > > in Wells's list; i'm almost certain that no single dialect distinguishes > all > > of them. > > There's Americans without the PALM/LOT merger?
Well, probably some. But I was mixed up. In the general vicinity of "short o" and "flat a", Wells defines six lexical sets: BATH, CLOTH, LOT, PALM, START, and THOUGHT. In General American English (henceforth GAE), the sounds of BATH and START are not found in this same vicinity, as BATH is merged with TRAP, and START is rhotic. So those sets drop from the list when considering only GAE. That leaves CLOTH, LOT, PALM, and THOUGHT. In my particular 'lect, those four are *all* merged into a single vowel sound, so I get confused about where the divisions are for everyone else. IIRC the primary distinction is between LOT and THOUGHT. In GAE, CLOTH goes with THOUGHT and PALM goes with LOT, so you wind up with only two lexical - CLOTH/THOUGHT and LOT/PALM - which are further merged into a single set for some speakers, such as yours truly. (Over in RP, CLOTH goes with LOT and PALM goes with START, which is why those are separate lexical sets - they always merge with something else, just not always the same something else - like BATH.) Of course these are general statements and therefore bound to have exceptions. get merged with different other sets in different In GenAm, LOT an PALM are merged The "primary" sets are LOT and THOUGHT. The "secondary" sets are CLOTH and PALM. Depending on dialect, the secondary sets will be phonetically equivalent to
> > > -- > Tristan. > (And yes, that sentence *is* grammatically correct, even if your English > teacher won't admit it.) >
-- Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>


T. A. McLeay <conlang@...>
Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>