He is going to marry merry Mary

Rud   Monday, June 07, 2004, 23:20 GMT
I pronounce it,
marry sound different to me cause it has the a sound in cat,

now the difference bettwen the vowel sound in For and Far it's disappearing in usa,
i give it twenty years untill it sounds backward not to pronounce for and far the same.

If you don't live in usa ,want to make sure or just don't believe it just pay attention to the way actors pronounce words in the different american tv shows,

For fA:r
Sause fA:s
George jA:rj
call cA:l
Saw sA:
Small sm:Al
Fall fA:l
More mA:r
Sore sA:r
Dorm dA:rm
Wall wA:l
Talk tA:k
Walk WA:k

Sorry ,
i messed up the message above
Rud   Monday, June 07, 2004, 23:56 GMT
where do you live Smith?
Jim   Tuesday, June 08, 2004, 00:02 GMT
Emmanuel   Tuesday, June 08, 2004, 00:08 GMT
That's true, Rud.

Americans say "talk" as if it were "tock" but English say "talk" as it is were "tauk."

Cat is k-æ-t in America but k-ah-t in most territories of the British Isles.

But cot is k-ah-t in America when cot sounds as c-aw:ah-t.
Dulcinea del Toboso   Tuesday, June 08, 2004, 01:11 GMT
Some Americans pronounce "talk" as "tock", but some, including myself, pronounce it as "tauk". It is not pronounced uniformly throughout the country.
Ryan   Tuesday, June 08, 2004, 03:40 GMT
"Talk" as "tock" is a Northern Cities American English thing. It's part of a vowel shift in Chicago and other cities in Great Lakes states.

Most Americans and British Commonwealth speakers both pronounce "cat" with the same @ vowel. I believe that, once again, it's only in the Great Lakes area that @ before t is raised to sound almost like key-at.

Dulcinea, you bring up Labov a lot. In regards to the merger of "cot" and "caught," I don't think he is saying that this distinction is disappearing everywhere. This would contradict his claim that the vowel shift in the Northern Cities of the United States is a permanent one, as this shift makes speakers in states like Michigan pronounce "cot" like "caht" and "caught" like "cot." I think it's only in the West and Midlands that one sees this distinction disappearing. I can assure you that nobody in Michigan will pronounce these words the same anytime soon.
Emmanuel   Tuesday, June 08, 2004, 04:22 GMT
Cot and caught don't sound the same. Against me? Use a dictionary and search them.

In America
cot (ka:t)
caught (ko:t)
cat (kæt)
Jim   Tuesday, June 08, 2004, 05:34 GMT
Not every American has the same accent, Emmanuel. Some merge /a:/ and /o:/.
Emmanuel   Tuesday, June 08, 2004, 05:57 GMT
I know that much better than how you can imagine. I've studied many kinds of English accents. Also I've compared how English looks in Spanish spelling for foreigners' advantage. It's like my hobby job in a spare time.
Jim   Tuesday, June 08, 2004, 06:09 GMT
That's nice that you know it better than I can imagine because what your above comment made me begin to imagine was that you hadn't got a clue.
mjd   Tuesday, June 08, 2004, 06:19 GMT
More learning, less teaching.
mjd   Tuesday, June 08, 2004, 06:21 GMT
My last comment was directed at Willy/Emmanuel/Geoffrey Chaucer etc.
Rud   Tuesday, June 08, 2004, 18:10 GMT
I got a dictionary at home,
Webster's New World Dictionary
and i can tell you that every word that has an
o: sound has a second alternative using the a: sound.
Dulcinea del Toboso   Tuesday, June 08, 2004, 19:17 GMT
Ryan, what I'm questioning is whether it is true that the caught/cot distinction is disappearing in the west and midlands. From my experience on the U.S. west coast (Pacific Northwest), the caught/cot distinction is alive and well.
Ryan   Wednesday, June 09, 2004, 00:30 GMT
Dulcinea, have you been on Labov's site and looked at his map data? The cot/caught merger is by no means universal in the Pacific Northwest (unless you count Vancouver) if you look at his data. He has dots on his maps where he says the change is "transitional." By Labov's definition, this would be areas where the difference in formants betweens the /a/ and /o:/ vowels is much less than the difference in New York City or Detroit, two places where the distinction is definitely preserved and very noticeable. I believe that Labov also has data that says that the younger a person is, the less of a statistical difference there is between the /a/ and /o:/ vowel formants, showing that the distinction between these vowels is most likely disappearing in the West and Midlands.