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Re: Retroflex vowels?

From:Josh Roth <fuscian@...>
Date:Sunday, January 27, 2002, 7:32
In a message dated 1/27/02 1:44:18 AM, AL260@AOL.COM writes:

>Hmm.... NYC SPEECH?? I don't think so....all the people that I've heard >who come from my dear city (well, I live 30 minutes away..but, it's still >my city)...say: > >[S@r] <sure> >[SOr] <shore> >(Although it might be [Sor], i can't really decide. I'm sitting here saying >the word..and it's not making sense to me anymore! :) But it's definitely >not homophonous with sure. > >Elliott
I live a bit further away than you - around 1.5 hrs from NYC (depending on traffic) (to the east), and I'm pretty sure that /u/ and /O/ are merging before /r/ (=that American "r"). I have a three-way alternation for "sure": /Sur/, /SOr/, and /S@r/ The last may just exist because it's such a common word that the vowel gets reduced as much as possible, and the first exists, I think, only in careful pronunciation. "tour"/"tore" is another example, with /tOr/ often replacing /tur/. Actually, I sometimes try to correct myself after starting to pronounce "tour" as /tOr/, and end up somewhere in the middle. What else ... "lure", "demure", "pure".... The word "mural", though, definitely has /@r/ rather than /ur/ or /Or/. Most likely, eventually there will be no /ur/ left here at all, whatever it eventually turns into (unless of course, it arises again from something else - like, say, /uw@r/ sequences, as in "sewer" or "newer"). On the other hand, nothing like this happens before /l/ around here. I thought I'd try to put an ObConlang in here, but I can't think of anything relevant. :-/ Josh Roth