Date: Wed, 17 Jul 1996 15:57:40 -0400

From: "Dennis R. Preston" preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PILOT.MSU.EDU

Subject: Re: waft

If us Louisvillians are southerners, then count at least one southern /ah/

(rather than low-front) pronouncer of 'waft.' ''Waft' wif a wow-fwont vowew

sounds wike siwwy wabbit tawk fow 'raft' to me.

Dennis in East Lansing (where the winds blow too hard and cold for this to

ever be a question)

I'm gathering evidence among cultivated speakers for the pronunciation of

several literary words, and am finding that waft is overwhelmingly pronounced

WAHFT, but in the South (speakers raised and still living there) it seems to

be the vowel of RAFT. Can anyone from the South speak to this?

Dale Coye

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Princeton, NJ

Dennis R. Preston

Department of Linguistics and Languages

Michigan State University

East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA


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