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Summary Details


Query:   Australian [ae]-lengthening
Author:  Tonio Green
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Phonetics
Phonology

Summary:   REGARDING QUERY: HTTP://WWW.LINGUISTLIST.ORG/ISSUES/16/16-669.HTML#1

DEAR ALL,

I GOT A LOT OF RESPONSES TO MY QUESTION ABOUT [AE] LENGTHENING IN AUSTRALIAN ENGLISH AND AM PLEASED TO REPORT THAT YES, IT'S A REAL PHENOMENON. ALMOST EVERYONE AGREED THAT AT LEAST SOME AUSTRALIANS (MANY SAID *ALL* AUSTRALIANS) HAVE DIFFERENT VOWEL LENGTHS IN PAIRS LIKE CAN/CAN AND LAD/BAD. SOME PEOPLE CONFIRMED THAT THIS IS PARTLY TRUE FOR SOME SPEAKERS OF RP AS WELL (NO DIFFERENCE IN CAN/CAN, BUT IN LAD/BAD AND SOME OTHER PAIRS).

ONE AUSTRALIAN RESPONDENT GAVE ''CANS''/''CAIRNS'' AS A MINIMAL PAIR, THOUGH, MAKING ME WONDER WHETHER /AE/ HAS REALLY SPLIT INTO TWO PHONEMES, OR WHETHER SOME /AE/ WORDS HAVE SIMPLY GONE OVER TO WHAT WELLS CALLS THE SQUARE VOWEL. IN OTHER WORDS, IF YOU HAVE A LONGER VOWEL IN ''BAD'' THAN IN ''LAD'', IS ''BAD'' STILL DISTINCT FROM ''BAIRD''?

(I HAVE BEEN TOLD BY NEW YORK CITY SPEAKERS THAT THEIR TENSED /AE/ IS NOT DISTINCT FROM THEIR SQUARE VOWEL IF THEY'RE BEING NONRHOTIC, SO THAT ''PASS'' RHYMES WITH ''SCARCE'', BUT I DON'T THINK THERE'S A REAL PHONEMIC MERGER, BECAUSE NYC SPEAKERS HAVE A TENDENCY TO SUPPRESS NONRHOTICITY IN CAREFUL SPEECH, BUT DO NOT (AS FAR AS I KNOW) HYPERCORRECT TENSE /AE/ TO /ER/ IN WORDS LIKE ''PASS''.)

AS FOR LITERATURE, I WAS POINTED TO:

- BURRIDGE, KATE. 1998. ENGLISH IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND. OXFORD: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS.

- LEITNER, GERHARD. 2004. AUSTRALIA'S MANY VOICES. BERLIN: MOUTON DE GRUYTER.

AS WELL AS AN UNPUBLISHED PAPER BY ERICH ROUND COMPARING AUSTRALIAN [AE] LENGTHENING WITH MID-ATLANTIC [AE] TENSING

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO TOOK THE TIME TO RESPOND AND TO SHARE THEIR INSIGHTS WITH ME, NAMELY:

LOUISE BAIRD
CHRIS CLEIRIGH
SARAH CUTFIELD
DAVID DETERDING
MARK DONOHUE
EVAN KIDD
GERHARD LEITNER
DUNCAN MARKHAM
ANDREW MCINTYRE
BILL PALMER
ERICH ROUND
MOIRA YIP
GHIL'AD ZUCKERMANN

THANKS EVERYONE!
-- TONIO GREEN

LL Issue: 16.858
Date Posted: 21-Mar-2005
Original Query: Read original query