Two particular sounds of vowel O.

Harrow English School   Saturday, June 12, 2004, 17:14 GMT
When some of us (all English-born, all "well educated") say

Roll, Pole, Bowl, Mole Coal, Cold. Bold,

we pronounce the vowel-sound slightly differently (i.e., more "openly") from how we pronounce it in

Vote, Coat, Mote/Moat, Dote.

Whereas some of us do NOT so distinguish the vowel-sound but pronounce the former words with the vowel identical to the latter examples.

What, please, are the two appropriate phonetic symbols for the two sounds?

This is NOT to be confused with the English "North Country" pronunciation which sounds like Rorl/Rawl, Porl/Paul, Ball, Maul, Caul, Vort, Caught, Mort/Mawt, Called, Bald, Dort.

We have specifically avoided using phonetic symbols in this enquiry.

Thank you.

Tom   Saturday, June 12, 2004, 23:15 GMT
When a vowel is followed by a voiced consonant (in your examples, L and D), it is longer. Compare "bet" and "bed", "feet" and "feed", "sit" and "Sid".

The sources that I'm familiar with do not distinguish between the longer and shorter sounds in transcription. You could place the length mark (looks roughly like a colon) after the vowel symbol to indicate the difference.
Might Mick   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 01:55 GMT
I pronounce them differently too. They are of the same duration (both long vowels) but have different sounding diphthongs. Those two sets above apply to me in the same way.

It seems that all "old", "oal", "ole", "olt" endings fit into that first set. (same as the American pronunciation) While the remainder fit into the second (e.g. "go", "home", "tone", "vote").

I describe the diphthong in the first set as sliding into a French "ou" while the second slides into French "u".
Juan   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 02:38 GMT
CON = kon

CONVICTION = c..nviction

Why is it that the "o' in con is the same the one in POT but the CON in CONVICTION is a schwa?
Hole vs. home   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 02:43 GMT
The ''o'' sounds in these two words sound a bit different. ''hole'' and ''home''. Aren't they a bit different?
Might Mick   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 02:54 GMT
To Americans there's no difference between such "o" sounds. Australians (that's me!) and certain Brits pronounce them quite differently.
Orion   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 02:58 GMT
Juan: "Why is it that the 'o' in con is the same the one in POT but the CON in CONVICTION is a schwa?"

I think it has to do with where the stress (emphasis) is placed in the word.
In English, some dialects tend to smash together/mumble non-stressed syllables.

You're CON/CONVICTION example is good, so I'll just extend it:

CON-vict = konvict (A person jailed for a crime)

con-VICT = c...nvict (The act of judging someone guilty of a crime)
Poppo   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 04:05 GMT
Yes, I do shew that -ew sounds as oh as in "sew." But also spell it in "so."

It's pretty easy, isn't it when you're accustomed?
Juan   Sunday, June 13, 2004, 04:17 GMT

Thanks for responding to my query :-)

English is tough! I never knew the "o" in convict was different depending on the context.

con-VICT = c...nvict (The act of judging someone guilty of a crime)

The "o" in this context still sounds to me like the "o' in POT. The only thing that I suspected was the stress was placed else where, that's all. Oh well back to the hitting the books I guess. :-(

Damn the schwa vowel is so ambiguous. It can sound like an "o" in pot, an "e" in pet, an "a" path........
Might Mick   Monday, June 14, 2004, 09:03 GMT
The first poster here explains the same idea behind my "oo" discussion but with the long "o" sound having 2 different phones:

Roll, Pole, Bowl, Mole Coal, Cold. Bold,

Vote, Coat, Mote/Moat, Dote.

My "oo" representations:
book, foot

/u:/ my pronunciation of pool, cool, "ool" endings (as for certain speakers including Americans)

who, poo, glue, food, boot

Scottish speakers only.