On Tue, 27 Jan 1998, Alan Baragona wrote:

X-posted to HEL-L and ADS-L

As a medievalist with the usual peripheral training in linguistics,

mostly historical, I'd like to ask the help of the real linguists and

phoneticians on the list.

The extent of my knowledge of phonetic transcription is the "broad"

method used in textbooks like Pyles and Algeo, which is not always

adequate for dialectical allophones. 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. What do those of you who

really know what you're doing use for this sound?