'quirk / quirky' GAE version

Antonio from RJ   Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:42 pm GMT
Hi all, long time.

A rather quick question...for the Americans around or those who live enough time with them lol
So my girlfriend's pronunciation of 'quirk/y' boggled me! She is a true 'General American English' speaker and the other night this very word came about in a chat. At first, I asked her to repeat (not trouble since accents and dialects may vary and we get lost on very few occasions), but then I had her spelling out the word because 'I did not know it' ! Ok, my Southern England accent makes it pretty standard /kwak/ or even /kwAk/, but her version sounds like the English 'cork', with a slight 'w' - cwork !!
Rather than just amused, she had me laughing, and I had a few attempts at that pronunciation (no good!)

So the point is: is that pronunciation common, or can that be a hybrid GAE? Sorry for my not using the IPA here

cheers
upstater   Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:04 pm GMT
For me it sounds like:

k+were+key
American   Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:57 pm GMT
It's pronounced k-work. /kwAk/ sounds like k-walk
Lazar   Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:58 pm GMT
It's hard to know exactly what you mean without using IPA ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPA ). In RP, "quirk" is pronounced [ˈkʰwɜ:k], and in GA it's pronounced [ˈkʰwɜ˞k]; discounting differences in rhoticism, the two standard pronunciations are essentially the same. If you're using [] or [ɑ], or if your girlfriend is using [ɔ], then that would be a non-standard pronunciation.
Travis   Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:18 pm GMT
The closest thing I can think of to this is the loss of /w/ in /kwɔr/, such as in "quarter" and "quart" - but the thing is that "quirk" does not contain /ɔr/, so this must reflect a more general form of this sound shift than what I am familiar with. (I myself natively have /w/ in words like "quarter" and "quart", but I in more recent years have picked up the tendency to very often drop said /w/.)
ipa   Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:10 pm GMT
Sorry I can't read the Box Phonetic Alphabet. Everything but the consonants show up as boxes. Don't have the fonts for it. Can someone put it in ASCII XSAMPA?
Travis   Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:26 am GMT
I'll repost Lazar's post with X-SAMPA rather than IPA here:

>>It's hard to know exactly what you mean without using IPA ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPA ). In RP, "quirk" is pronounced ["k_hw3:k], and in GA it's pronounced ["k_hw3`k]; discounting differences in rhoticism, the two standard pronunciations are essentially the same. If you're using [{] or [A], or if your girlfriend is using [O], then that would be a non-standard pronunciation.<<

I'll repost my post with X-SAMPA rather than IPA here:

>>The closest thing I can think of to this is the loss of /w/ in /kwOr/, such as in "quarter" and "quart" - but the thing is that "quirk" does not contain /Or/, so this must reflect a more general form of this sound shift than what I am familiar with. (I myself natively have /w/ in words like "quarter" and "quart", but I in more recent years have picked up the tendency to very often drop said /w/.)<<
Entbark   Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:56 am GMT
Cork and quirk sound very similar to me (as said naturally, not over-pronounced) but quirk has the slight 'w' sound you mentioned. I don't use the "caught" vowel for cork; not sure which vowel I use. I pronounce quirk like "work" with a 'k' in front.
Antonio from RJ   Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:16 pm GMT
Thanks all of you... I am now inclined to considering her a hybrid version lol

I think it sounds a bit like 'quart'. where would it place her pattern then?

Entbark: where are you from? have you travel a lot, in case you are from the US

cheers
Entbark   Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:01 am GMT
I have lived all over the US (California, Appalachia, Wisconsin), so I probably have a hybrid American accent too. Cork and quart sound identical (minus end consonant) to me.
Uriel   Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:49 pm GMT
Cork, quirk, and quart all sound different to me, but I always use the kw- sound in quart. some people say "cort" for quart, and that would explain Entbark's statement. Cork would rhyme with quark for me, but not with quirk, which would rhyme with work.
eeuuian   Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:12 pm GMT
The sound families for me:

1) Cork, fork, torque, orchid / quart, fort

2) Quark, spark, dark, lark, bark

3) Quirk, work, lurk, murk, jerk, irk, kirk
Entbark   Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:36 am GMT
Hoping I got my terms right, but going from a rounded front vowel (o or u) to a postalveolar approximate (r) like in the word "cork" sounds very similar to a labio-velar approximant (w or the 'u' in "quart"). This makes me wonder if the differences in cork and quark were lost in certain accents because of this.

Anyone know of other cases like this?
Quork   Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:37 pm GMT
>> The sound families for me 1) Cork, fork, torque, orchid / quart, for 2) Quark, spark, dark, lark, bark 3) Quirk, work, lurk, murk, jerk, irk, kirk <<

I pronounce Quark as Quork. Am I the only one that does this? And I don't have the barn/born merger.
Uriel   Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:45 pm GMT
Yeah, quark rhymes with fork for me. Not that I have a lot of occasion to use it in general conversation, but....