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California Dreamin', vowel dept.(was New Try from a New Guy)

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Wednesday, December 18, 2002, 0:01
Arthaey Angosii wrote:

>Emaelivpahr Roger Mills: >>That's pretty standard US, and coincides with what I've always used. A
>>of >>people seem to have the same vowel in father and cot [A], and >>_supposedly_ the/a Calif. dialect also has [A] in caught. >>------------------------------------------------------------------ >>And Arthaey Argosii wrote: >>>Arrrg! I hate vowels. They're impossible to compare by using "standard" >>English words. As far as I can tell from listening to my own >>pronunciations, "father," "cot," and "caught" all rhyme perfectly. Only >>"cut" sounds different.> >>
(little snip)
>Yup. Seems I'v validated your "supposed" dialect. Could you try >explaining what vowels everyone else is using?
Yikes! I couldn't even begin......:-) Check the archives, and happy hunting. Everyone, somewhere, sometime, has posted a mini-dissertation or two on their own pronunciation.
>In my introductory >linguistics class, I never was able to hear the difference between [A] and >the open-o/turned-c vowel.
The main differences: [A] has maximum normal lowering of the jaw (by normal I mean, not exaggerated as when the Dr. asks you to say aaah), the tongue is pretty much at rest in the bottom of the mouth, and the lips are not rounded/protruded at all. (If you round your lips in this position, you get [Q] IIRC.) [O] is less open (about midway between [o] and [A]-- (for me, it seems I drop my jaw about 1/4 in. from [o] position), the tongue is less tense than for [o] but more than for [A], the back bunches up slightly toward the velum, and the lips are rounded/protruded (not as much as for [o] but noticeably so). Do you know German by any chance? Their "short o" as in Gott, Schloss is close, though less drawn-out than in Engl. Here's something else to try: make a good pure [u], and maintain that position as you slowly lower your jaw. (Automatically, your tongue will also gradually lower and your lips become less rounded) Hopefully, just a bit before maximum opening, you'll find yourself saying [O]. Then the trick is to hit that spot consistently. (This works nicely for the front vowel continuum too; and the central vowels with practice) I've never heard this particular dialect-- my last visit to Calif. was almost 40 years ago and I wasn't paying much attention to such things, and my relatives there are transplanted midwesterners, so they're no help... I don't seem to hear it much on TV interviews with Hollywood types, but they're hardly typical either.... Frankly, I do find it hard to believe that (especially) open monosyllables like _law, raw, paw, saw_ really and truly have the same vowel [A] as father, cot (I can accept caught as rhyming, because things do happen in closed syllables). Is it possible y'all are using slightly rounded [Q] in all these cases rather can completely unrounded [A] ? That I could believe. (BTW how do you pronounce "y'all"? it's [jOl] for me) law [lA]? the musical note following sol, or Span. for 'the(F.)' raw [rA]? what you yell at sporting events paw [p_hA]? daddy saw [sA]???? doesn't exist in my dialect. Close to French ça.