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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Query Details


Query Subject:   Australian A-Lengthening
Author:   Tonio Green
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Phonetics
Phonology

Query:   Hello,

Can anyone confirm or deny the existence of a "lengthened short a" in
Australian English, in particular an apparent phonemic split between short
[ae] in 'lad', 'can' (modal verb) and [ae:] in 'bad', 'can' (noun)? If
real, this is of course strongly reminiscent of the distinction between lax
and tense [ae] in New York City. J. C. Wells' "Accents of English" only
mentions lengthening of [ae] in monosyllables in Australian, which can be
maintained when class 2 suffixes are added, allowing for pairs like
h[ae]mmer 'mallet-like tool' vs. h[ae:]mmer 'one who hams', but says
nothing about a c[ae]n/c[ae:n] contrast. Are there any Australians here who
have contrasts like c[ae]n/c[ae:n] or l[ae]d/b[ae:d]? Has anything been
published about this?

Thanks in advance!
-- Tonio Green
LL Issue: 16.669
Date posted: 07-Mar-2005



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