Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 11:40:35 -0800

From: Garland D Bills gbills[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UNM.EDU

Subject: Re: Phonetic transcription--help

On Tue, 27 Jan 1998, Alan Baragona wrote:

I have a student with a Texas

accent who, like many Southerners and Westerners, simplifies the

diphthong [ai] (among others). But I can't really transcribe her vowel

as either [a] or [ae]. Her pronunciation of like is not a homophone

of either lock [lak] or lack [laek] but is pretty much smack in the

middle, as if she stops in the middle of the glide or rather sets her

mouth to say the glide but holds the pure vowel. I don't really know how

to transcribe her like without an approximation that doesn't do her

justice and can potentially confuse the class.

As a native speaker of that same (standard, of course) dialect, it

seems to me your characterization is quite accurate. The IPA symbols for

the three vowels in our dialect are [ae] for lack , [a] for like , and

"script a" for which I'll use [[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]] for lock . In articulatory terms,

probably the simplist (and not really too oversimplified) description is

that all three are low vowels in front, central, and back positions

respectively. Phoneticians will probably make our lives more complicated

than this -- right, Don Lance?

Garland D. Bills E-mail: gbills[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Department of Linguistics Tel.: (505) 277-7416

University of New Mexico FAX: (505) 277-6355

Albuquerque, NM 87131-1196 USA