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AMERICAN ENGLISH "SHORT A" REVISITED: A PHONOLOGICAL PUZZLE

AMERICAN ENGLISH "SHORT A" REVISITED: A PHONOLOGICAL PUZZLE American Speech, Vol. 77, No. 4, Winter 2002 Copyright © 2002 by the American Dialect Society nuclei. Added to these 27 nuclei are the 9 “simple nuclei,” thus yielding an inventory of 36 possible syllabic nuclei, only some of which are realized in any particular regional dialect. I prefer to forgo the elegant symmetry of the Trager and Smith analysis in favor of the view that vowel contrasts are located in the vowels themselves and not in the presence or absence of postvocalic glides. Indeed, I take the view that the postvocalic glides of American English are largely predictable from properties of the vowels and their phonetic environments, though this is not an analytic issue that I will pursue in this paper. Therefore, I will adopt unitary symbols to represent phonetically the vowel contrast under consideration: [á] for the vowel of can ‘modal auxiliary’; [E] for the vowel can ‘a container’. By way of orientation to the symbols being used here, it may be helpful to suggest that my use of [E] for the vowel of can ‘a container’ represents the same vowel which, in studies of historical English phonology, is represented as e, i.e., “long open e” http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Speech: A Quarterly of Linguistic Usage Duke University Press

AMERICAN ENGLISH "SHORT A" REVISITED: A PHONOLOGICAL PUZZLE

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2002 by American Dialect Society
ISSN
0003-1283
eISSN
1527-2133
DOI
10.1215/00031283-77-4-358
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

American Speech, Vol. 77, No. 4, Winter 2002 Copyright © 2002 by the American Dialect Society nuclei. Added to these 27 nuclei are the 9 “simple nuclei,” thus yielding an inventory of 36 possible syllabic nuclei, only some of which are realized in any particular regional dialect. I prefer to forgo the elegant symmetry of the Trager and Smith analysis in favor of the view that vowel contrasts are located in the vowels themselves and not in the presence or absence of postvocalic glides. Indeed, I take the view that the postvocalic glides of American English are largely predictable from properties of the vowels and their phonetic environments, though this is not an analytic issue that I will pursue in this paper. Therefore, I will adopt unitary symbols to represent phonetically the vowel contrast under consideration: [á] for the vowel of can ‘modal auxiliary’; [E] for the vowel can ‘a container’. By way of orientation to the symbols being used here, it may be helpful to suggest that my use of [E] for the vowel of can ‘a container’ represents the same vowel which, in studies of historical English phonology, is represented as e, i.e., “long open e”

Journal

American Speech: A Quarterly of Linguistic UsageDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 2002

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