Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 08:03:03 -0500
From: "Dennis R. Preston" preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PILOT.MSU.EDU
Subject: Re: can/can't
Huh Don? You must mean in foreigner talk, like [khae~n]. My ordinary (and
not even my most allegro form) of 'can' ain't got no vowel atall [khn.].
(With the period after [n] I am trying to show that the [n] is a 'syllabic'
My 'can't' at the same stylistic level is rather more stressed, and, as a
result, its nucleus is a tad longer.
('Tad' is not a technical phonetic term.)
No wonder them international students that come up here from your place do
everthing bass-ackwards. I thought it was some 'show-me' shit.
When international students have asked about American pronunciations of
'can' and 'can't' -- complaining that they don't hear a -t -- I point out
that the vowel in 'can' lasts a little longer than the one in 'can't'.
They find that explanation useful. DMLance