Date: Sat, 17 Dec 1994 17:12:42 -0600 From: "Timothy C. Frazer" Subject: Re: /biyl/ This was a fascinating post and I want to say more, but first: David, what does typographic "&" represent? --Tim Frazer On Thu, 15 Dec 1994, David A. Johns wrote: > Here in southeast Georgia I get a lot of spelling mistakes of the type > FEEL <--> FILL and SALE <--> SELL. But these pronunciations are mixed > up with at least three other phenomena. > > First, breaking. As far as I can tell, /I/ and /E/ always break in > word-final stressed syllables, and when they do, the first part of the > diphthong is higher and tense: [ij[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]] and [ej[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]]. But before consonants > other than /l/, there is no merger, since /i/ and /e/ are lowered and > strongly diphthongized: /i/ --> [ej] and /e/ --> [&j] (where [&] is > [a_e]). So we get BIT [bij[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]t] but BEET [bejt]. > > Second, vocalization of /l/. Syllable-final /l/ is strongly vocalized > as [w] or [u], often with no velarization that I can hear. All front > vowels, tense or lax, get an intrusive [j] before this segment [*], > and before this [j], /i/ and /e/ are not lowered, but fall together > with /I/ and /E/. So BILL and BEALE are both /biju/. > > [*] The back vowels /u/ and /o/ are normally strongly fronted > and diphthongized, but before an /l/ the remain back. So for > FOOL and FOAL I hear [fuw] and [fow], with no fronting. This > contributes to a bewildering number of very similar vowels -- > I'm not at all sure how many distinctions there are in the > series COOL, (MINIS)CULE, KILL, KEEL. It could be two, three, > or four. And then we throw in the pronunciation of /O/ as > /Ow/ or /aw/ and of /oj/ as /o[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]/ ... > > One more note: /aw/ often breaks into /&ju/, but not in the > same environments as the front vowel breaking -- I often hear > HOW [h&ju] and DOWN [d&jun], but never OUT [&jut] (but PIT > [pij[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]t]). It's possible that /aw/ -> /[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]w/ -> [[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ju] has merged > with /&l/ -> /&ju/ in some environments (e.g., HAL and HOW > both [h&ju]). > > Third, there is a really noticeable raising of /I/ and /E/ even in > non-breaking, non-L syllables. I consistently hear BETTY as BEATTY, > THANKSGIVING as THANKSGEEVING, etc. But again, in these contexts > there is no merger, because of the lowering of the tense vowels. > > If you want vowels, come to South Georgia! > > David Johns > Waycross College > Waycross, GA >