Jim   Friday, January 09, 2004, 02:47 GMT
Nobody pronounces "father" with an /æ/.
Steve   Friday, January 09, 2004, 03:03 GMT
What Nick was talking about was that ''fast car'' is pronounce differently in American and British English. Americans pronounce fast with the ''a'' sound in cat. And Britons pronounce it with the ''a'' sound in father.

American pronunciation [f@st ka:r]
British Pronunciation [fa:st ka:]
Jim   Friday, January 09, 2004, 04:57 GMT
I interpret Nick's post differently. He was doing more than comparing the American and British pronunciation of "fast car". His reasoning was valid except for the fact that it was over generalised. By the same reasoning you'd conclude that "father" should be pronounced [f@TH..(r)] in most American dialects.
Steve   Friday, January 09, 2004, 05:28 GMT
Words that are pronounce with the [a:] sound by both the Britons and the Americans.

Nick   Friday, January 09, 2004, 06:29 GMT
My apologies for being unclear. As a teacher of accents one must generalise. There is no such thing as a "Standard American" or "Standard British" accent, but nevertheless I teach them, and people perform them acceptably. My intention was the former suggested by Steve, to compare the same phrase in two different accents.

In fact, the Massachussets dialect comes close to saying father like that, if only in the upper-classes (think JFK), but is more noticable in a word like "rather" in American. A very thickly accented Scottsman may also say the word a little like "fayther." (as in "day")

But also, "Mama" and "Papa" would be the shorter /a/ vowel, written as an inverted /v/ in "Standard British", and more like a neutral schwa sound (written as an inverted /e/) in "Standard US." - a subtle distinction really, but necessary in my arena. Also "pasta" and "taco" would be prounounced with the /æ/ sound in most Northern UK dialects like Yorkshire.

Sorry for being a pedant, I'm not rousing, just sharing. Sorry for being ambiguous before.

Steve   Friday, January 09, 2004, 16:52 GMT
the words ''mama'' and ''papa'' have a schwa sound in them but it's at the last ''a''.

Here's how I pronounce the words.

Father [fa:th..r]
Pasta [pa:st..]
Taco [ta:kOu]
Mama [ma:m..]
Papa [pa:p..]

I've never heard ''taco'' and ''pasta'' pronounced with the ''a'' sound in cat.
Steve   Monday, January 12, 2004, 01:57 GMT
This is how I pronounce these words.
Nevada [n..'va:d..]
Colorada [ka:l..ra:dOu]
Alabama [@l..b@m..]
Steve   Monday, January 12, 2004, 01:59 GMT
Oops! I meant '''Colorado'' not ''Colorada''.