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USAGE: [a] vs [A]

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Friday, June 13, 2003, 18:48
On Fri, Jun 13, 2003 at 02:15:47PM -0400, Steg Belsky wrote:
> My pronounciation is probably fairly close to yours... i just couldn't > remember how to mark R-coloring,
I keep a link to the IPA/X-SAMPA chart - found via - handy at all times. :)
> and i have trouble telling whether my /a/'s sound like [a] or [A].
My understanding is that [a] is the stereotypical Midwestern "ah", heard in the Chicago pronounciation of, well, "Chicago", but also "pop", etc. It seems to have a bit of an [&] flavor (yeah, I know, real scientific). It doesn't occur at all in my idiolect, although I hear it all the time in my cousins' speech - they're from Detroit. The [A] sound is not really associated with any particular region, but is common to many; it's the same sound as the Latin long A, preserved as the sole A sound in most of the modern Romance languages. -Mark