Date: Mon, 14 Oct 1996 04:05:03 CST
From: Ellen Johnson Ellen.Johnson[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]INETGW.WKU.EDU
Subject: Irish /ai/au/ merger?
I heard a lecture by a woman from Ulster this weekend and was
struck by what seems to be a merger in her speech between
/ai/ and /au/. It was striking because it led to so many
misinterpretations in my own head: "grind" for "ground" and (the
one that reminded me of this list) "a night building" for "an out
building". The only possible diff in the way she pronounced /ai/
was that the onset may have been lower and backer (for /ai/).
Is this a common feature of Irish Eng? Did I miss a subtle
differentiation of the two sounds? I must have, because it seems
that widespread miscommunication would result from such a
ellen.johnson[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]wku.edu