LINGUIST List 11.419

Mon Feb 28 2000

Qs: Shwa/American English, "Anymore"/American Eng

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  1. Jorge Guitart, Queries about shwa in American English
  2. Gleeson, Positive 'any more' and Hiberno-English

Message 1: Queries about shwa in American English

Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 11:20:00 -0500 (EST)
From: Jorge Guitart <>
Subject: Queries about shwa in American English

1. Given that shwa appears predictably in weakly stressed syllables in AE,
is there a ***class*** of vowels that are pronounced shwa under weak
stress, given that there are vowels in weakly stressed syllables that are
NOT shwa? Take 'object' (noun): there is no shwa in the last
syllable even though it is weakly stressed. Given the pronunciation of 
'objective,' the last vowel of the morpheme 'object-' alternates between 
a high front vowel in 'object' and a mid front vowel in 'objective'.
Contrast'canon' and 'canonical' where the alternation is between shwa and a mid
back vowel. Shwa/nonshwa alternations also appear when the underlying
vowel is presumably low front, as shown in 'atom'/'atomic'. The first
vowel of 'atom-' is [ae](the digraph) in 'atom' but shwa in 'atomic'.
Is it the case, then, that swha alternates only with vowels other than
front nonlow or are there cases of alternation between front nonlow and

2. Are there underlying shwas? Calculus, calculable, calculate and
calculation all show [j] + shwa in the second syllable of calcul-. Is
there a pronunciation of calcul- that would show that the underlying vowel
is other than shwa?

Thanks in advance.

Jorge Guitart
SUNY Buffalo 
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Message 2: Positive 'any more' and Hiberno-English

Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 18:25:18 +0000
From: Gleeson <>
Subject: Positive 'any more' and Hiberno-English

I am currently researching an undergraduate project on the use of positive
'anymore' in Hiberno (Irish) English. For example, speakers of some
dialects of Hiberno-English might say "I'll do that anymore", meaning "I
will do that from now on". 

An important aspect of the project will be a comparison of this phenomenon
with the use of positive 'anymore' to mean "nowadays" in some dialects of
American English. I would be interested to know if anyone has done any
research in this area or knows of sources that would be of use to me. I
will post a summary of my findings when the project is complete, if there
is any interest. 

Jim Gleeson
University College Dublin,
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