Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

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

From:T. A. McLeay <conlang@...>
Date:Friday, December 14, 2007, 6:35
Mark J. Reed wrote:
> 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.
You must be confused about the meaning of "flat a". "Flat a" as I've always heard it used refers to the front vowel (/&/ and AusE:/&:/) in words like AusE dance /&:/ or my pronunciation of "castle" /&/. It is used to contrast against "broad a", which is probably what you mean, and is a long, back-or-central vowel (RP:/A:/ AusE:/a:/). It's used in words like RP/AusE can't, grass, pass and RP castle, dance. Hence, AmE BATH is "flat a", as I've always heard the term used. Most frequently, "broad a" is used to describe words in Well's BATH lexical set that have the same vowel as PALM/START and borrowed words with PALM (e.g. AusE pasta, taco), and "flat a" is Well's BATH that have the same vowel as TRAP (or its long counterpart in AusE). The rest of what you say sets my mind at ease, because it's what I thought the circumstances were.


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>