Date: Sun, 21 Jul 1996 13:06:22 -0400


Subject: Re: waft


I'm not sure I qualify as "from the South", having been born

in NYC, raised in Jamaica WI, and lived in Georgia from age 14-23! but

the question is more like, what was the phonological input for a

particular lexical item, namely "waft"-- and since my mother is a

Georgian, it may be I acquired it from her. On the other hand it could

well be a spelling pronunciation, as literary words often are, in

which case regional trends might not have much to do with it...

Anyway, I do rhyme "waft" with "raft", and it never even

occurred to me it might be pronounced otherwise until your query!

Can anyone think of common words ending in "-aft" which take

the /ah/ vowel in American English? I'm stumped. Which suggests that

anyone who gets their spelling pronunciation by analogy is very likely

to end up with the /ae/ one, like me; cf. "craft, daft, haft, aft" etc.

--peter patrick