'pot' and 'part' in non-rhotic American accents

Michal Ryszard Wojcik   Thursday, August 28, 2003, 10:38 GMT
Let us compare the pronunciation of 'lodger' and 'larger'. I have so far established that the vowels are essentially the same, but the presence of the 'r' makes it hard to simply state that they are identical.

Now, what happens in an American accent that is not rhotic, I mean an accent in which the 'r' is not pronounced - like in British. Are the words 'lodger' and 'larger' identical then?

The same question for the following pairs:

pot - part
mock - mark
stock - stark
lock - lark
Julian   Thursday, August 28, 2003, 16:04 GMT
I don't think these words sound the same in non-rhotic American accents.

In the common Boston accent and in and various other New England accents, the "a" sound in larger, part, mark, stark, and lark is somewhere in between \ah\ and the \ae\ in cat, which is an entirely different sound from the \ah\ sound in lodger, pot, mock, stock, and lock.

In Boston Brahmin, which is a lot closer to British RP, larger, part, mark, stark, lark are pronouced with an \ah\ while lodger, pot, mock, stock, lock are pronounced with a sound somewhere in between \ah\ and \oh\.

Finally in the non-rhotic Southern accents, the \ah\ in "ar" is usually more drawn out (or held longer) than the \ah\ in "o".

Hope that all makes sense.