LINGUIST List 15.3587

Thu Dec 23 2004

Qs: Introductory Ling Resources; English Short 'a'

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        1.    Rika Ito, Introductory Linguistics Resources
        2.    Tom Kun, English Short 'a'

Message 1: Introductory Linguistics Resources

Date: 23-Dec-2004
From: Rika Ito <>
Subject: Introductory Linguistics Resources

I am planning to propose an introductory linguistics course which compares
Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai and English. My audience will be
undergraduate students who have no linguistic background, although some may
have some background in one of the languages. Does anyone know good
resources (books & articles) to use? The information gathered will be
summarized and submitted, along with acknowledgement of those who
contributed, to LINGUIST in the form of a Summary.

I really appreciate your input!

Rika Ito, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Japanese & sociolinguistics
Dept. of Asian Studies
St. Olaf College
1520 St. Olaf Ave.
Northfield, MN 55057 Linguistic Field(s): Language Description

Message 2: English Short 'a'

Date: 22-Dec-2004
From: Tom Kun <>
Subject: English Short 'a'

I was at the Antimoon Forum ( recently gathering
information for this website I have
( Someone from somewhere
in Britain posted this:

''For some people from Southern England there's a short [æ] and a long [æ]
split. For them ''lad'', ''cat'', ''had'', ''pad'' etc. has a short [æ] but
''mad'', ''sad'', ''bad'' and ''glad'' have a long [æ] (which I'll write as
[æ:]). ''

I replied:
''Now that is VERY interesting. In the New York City and Mid-Atlantic
(Philadelphia & Baltimore) regions there is a split between ''lax short-a''
[æ] and ''tense short-a'' [e] ( means schwa) and linguists have long
suspected that these systems are related to the British broad-a system.
Most words which are broad /ah/ in southern England, like ''bath,''
''pass,'' and ''staff,'' are in the tense class in these split systems. You
can find out more at my site's chapters 18 and 19. In New York City short-a
is always tense before b, d, and g. Now here's the interesting part: in the
Philadelphia system it is never tense before b and g, and before d only in
three specific words: ''mad,'' ''bad,'' and ''glad.'' I'm thinking there's
a connection to your [æ:] here. ''

And then an Australian wrote:
''I'm from Australia and the following words are distinguished in my accent
by [æ] and [æ:] ([:] means long version of [æ])

can-[kæn] (able to)
can-[kæ:n] (metal container) ''

I had never heard of this [æ]/[æ:] opposition before. Does anyone here
have more information on this? Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics

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