Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 08:03:03 -0500 From: "Dennis R. Preston" 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' one.) 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. Dennis >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