Re: The fourteen vowels of English?
|From:||Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>|
|Date:||Monday, September 13, 2004, 16:50|
J. Mach Wust wrote:
> I've read of the minimal pair /k&n/ (modal verb) vs. /kE@n/ ('to put into
> cans'). Do you really have this?
>That sounds like US Southern dialect to me; unless you meant to type /k&n/
vs. /k&@n/-- in which case I think there's no real contrast. The
underlying/base form of both is simply /k&n/; all the rest depends and where
and how they can occur.
Modal 'can', in the rare case when it's the main verb of the sentence, would
also be pronounced [k&@n]--
--Can you do it by tomorrow?
--I cán. [k_h&@n]
(Probably also, --I cán't [k_h&@nt] but it's marginal, for me)
--What's your job at Del Monte?
--I cán (sci. 'things') [k_h&@n]
OTOH, modal can is usually followed by something else-- another verb, 'not
~ -'t', too -- (ceases to be main verb and is unstressed) and in these cases
loses its monosyllabic-ness and lengthened vowel-- so it either reduces to
unstressed [kn=] or has a shortened vowel nucleus--
--He can réad [k_hn='r\i:d], but he can't wríte [k_h&~?'r\aj?] (or
[k_h&~(n)t'r\ajt] in more careful speech)
--He can tóo! [k_h&n'tu:]
(I suspect the /k/ in [k..n=] is aspirated only slightly, if at all.)
At the beginning of a course long ago, the prof. asked us to do a phonetic
transcription of a dialogue, in our normal speech, to see how accurate our
various ears were. One of the sentences was "Can you get me a can of beer?"
Very few of us, to his dismay, noted the difference between the two can's.
Many even failed to note that "can of beer" would probably be
[k_h&n@'bI@r\]in everyday speech.
Thus even the container "can" can lose its offglide in a phrase or followed
by another syllable-- "canning" ['k_h&nIN]-- though obviously it never
reduces to [k_hn=].
(Others' dialects may differ)