Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 17:59:02 EST From: Terry Lynn Irons Subject: Re: can/can't > > I know that Labov has done some studies on this, but what about the > pronunciation between (unreduced) "can" and "can't"? I pronounce "can" > as /kaen/ - (the vowel is an "ash") and "can't" as /ke:nt/. (I come from > Phila.) I think Labov described this as being only a Phila. phenomenon. > Any comments? (I think some Philadelphians even pronounce "can't" as > something more like /kint/, with a short schwa sound after the /i/.) > > Ellen S. Polsky (Ellen.Polsky[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]Colorado.EDU) > I wonder if you mean the alternation between [ae] in the simple form and [e] in the negated form as being distinctive to the Philly area. For the pronunciation of {can't} with a front central [e:] occurs commonly in the mountain speech I hear. But the vowel in {can}, if not reduced, is much closer to a low front point of articulation. So my experience tells me it isn't only a Phila phenom. Terry -- (*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*) Terry Lynn Irons t.irons[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Voice Mail: (606) 783-5164 Snail Mail: UPO 604 Morehead, KY 40351 (*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)