"bull" and "dull"
>> I've heard (many times) sports newscasters pronouncing ''Chicago Bulls'' as ''Chicago Balls''
many people pronounce [Vl] and [Al] as [Ql]
for example many Canadians and Californians have [A] in thought, caught, off, lost, but [Q] in doll, dollar, all, lawyer
the sound of the vowel is changed because of the dark L:
culture changes from [V] to [Q]
pulse changes from [V] to [Q]
dull changes from [V] to [Q] <<
I have the same vowel in "thought" and "doll", "dollar", and "all", but "lawyer" has the "oy" as in "boy" sound.
I have [k_hAltSr\], [p_hAls], but "dull" is always [dVl] *never* [dQl]
>> the most formal varieties tend to be more conservative in preserving these phonemic distinctions. <<
I strongly disagree. Even radio announcers, and people speaking in even the most formal registers here don't unmerge cot and caught.
<<I don't think that unmerged Mary-marry-merry is part of GAm, no matter how formal, nor do I think that cot-caught or pin-pen merging are, no matter how informal.>>
I agree with what the article says. I'd call my speech General American, yet I do have the cot-caught and pin-pen mergers
>>I've never noticed it before, but I think you're right, Kendra. My /V/ before /l/ sounds more like [O] or [Q]. It is certainly backer than normal but I'm not entirely sure how open it is. I think this only occurs before consonants though, because 'dull' has my normal, central-to-near-back allophone of /V/. 'Bull' however, has /U/ as in General American (but it may sound like [u] because of l-vocalisation).<<
I have some words with such rounding, but such is not consistent in my dialect:
"culture" : ["k_hVMtSR=:]
"pulse" : ["p_hVMs]
"dull" : ["dV:M]
"bull" : ["bU::]
"gulf" : ["gQUf]
"multiple" : ["mQUtIp_hM:]
It seems to only occur when stressed /@l/ is followed by a fortis obstruent, but it does not seem to occur in all places where it could occur.
>>I think my /A/ may also be rounded with following (historic) /l/ (note however that l is fairly dark for me in all positions, and that it is usually vocalized in post-vocalic positions), so I have something like:
doll [dQo] or [dQ:]
all [Qo] or [Q:]<<
I myself have:
"doll" : ["dQ:U] or ["dA:M]
"dolly" : ["da:L\i:] or ["da:Mi:]
"dollar" : ["da:L\R=:] or ["da:MR=:]
"all" : ["Q:U]
I consider "doll" to really underlyingly be /dal/, because of the free variation between [Q] and [A], which does not occur in "all", and because the diminuitive for "dolly" having [a].
>>While we're on the subject of /l/, I've noticed that my realization is quite different than RP 'dark l'. Is it possible that I have [L\] as Travis does, or could I just have a different degree of velarisation than RP?<<
Mind you that such is really only the case for me in careful speech, and even then only prevocalically, morpheme-initially, and intervocalically (that includes across word boundaries). But even then, in informal speech intervocalic /l/ which is not morpheme-initial is very readily vocalized, and the remaining places where one normally finds [L\] still very readily ends up becoming [M\] or something between [L\] and [M\]. I really only have [L\] postvocalically in rather careful speech, where then I often end up emphasizing the [L\] to compensate for the usual vocalization.
>>Finally, in response to Lazar's quote from Wikipedia, I would disagree on a few details. I don't think that unmerged Mary-marry-merry is part of GAm, no matter how formal, nor do I think that cot-caught or pin-pen merging are, no matter how informal. The wine-whine merger could go either way. (Not to say that there is anything wrong with these pronunciations; I just don't think they're GAm.)<<
I myself would tend towards agreeing, except that rather conservative GA may have an incomplete Mary-marry-merry merger or the lack of a wine-whine merger (as I consider full Mary-merry-marry and wine-whine mergers to be the norm for GA). At the same time, I would say that it is extremely common for dialects that are rather close to GA to have the cot-caught merger, since many cot-caught merged dialects are otherwise quite close to GA.
Well whatever your viewpoints on the Wikipedia quote, let me just make it clear that it was posted by a troll, not by me. (It's not the usual disruptive post that's typical of a troll, but I've known them to do things like this before.) I wouldn't have quoted something without making it clear that it was a quote.
I suspected there was something fishy in that post, since Lazar wouldn't write [r] for [r\] in that context. Apparently it's an incorrect usage of square brackets in the Wikipedia article.
I thought it might be too, since it had no relation to the topic and nothing added by you. It has provided some material for discussion though.
<<nor do I think that cot-caught or pin-pen merging are, no matter how informal.>>
hmm. Interesting. When I hear someone without the cot-caught merger, I usually ask 'Where are you from?' To me, it sounds quite accented to not have this. It also bothers me when I hear it on tv. 100% of the news stations and the shows that are produced in this region do not have the distinction, and when I hear someone, like for example, Peter Funt from Candid Camera, he definitely soudns like he has an accent because he does not have the merger. I've also never heard voicemail systems and telephone operators that don't have the merger. In other regions, do they actually speak without the merger on TV?
Yes, we're completely cot-caught merged here in Canada too, and if I heard some who wasn't, I would wonder where he's from. However, Canadians do not speak General American, and wherever you are from, Kyle, (the West Coast?) seems to speak a variety close to, but not exactly General American. Again, that's not a value judgement of any kind; I just don't think it can be considered GenAm.
Kyle: Just remember, for many Americans the distinction can be very subtle, something like [A] versus [Q]. I myself have separate /A/ and /Q/ phonemes, and yet I sometimes find the distinction hard to hear in other people's speech. When you talk about people who "do not have the merger" and seem to you to "have an accent", I suspect that you may be thinking specifically of people who use a closer vowel like [O] for their "caught" phoneme, as in a New York accent. For example, the voice recordings at m-w.com tend to have very open vowels for "caught". How do these recordings strike you?
<<In other regions, do they actually speak without the merger on TV?>>
I think most of the people that I hear on national television are unmerged (even though they tend to use open vowels for "caught"). According to this survey ( http://cfprod01.imt.uwm.edu/Dept/FLL/linguistics/dialect/staticmaps/q_28.html
), 60% of Americans are unmerged.
>>Kyle: Just remember, for many Americans the distinction can be very subtle, something like [A] versus [Q]. I myself have separate /A/ and /Q/ phonemes, and yet I sometimes find the distinction hard to hear in other people's speech. When you talk about people who "do not have the merger" and seem to you to "have an accent", I suspect that you may be thinking specifically of people who use a closer vowel like [O] for their "caught" phoneme, as in a New York accent. For example, the voice recordings at m-w.com tend to have very open vowels for "caught". How do these recordings strike you?<<
I myself perceive [A] somewhat ambiguously, as a slightly fronted [A] will normally intuitively map to /a/ for me but a slightly raised or rounded [A] will commonly intuitively map to /Q/ for me. In the opposite direction, [A] IMD can both be an allophone of /a/ and the result of having a more progressive NCVS (I only sporadically have [A] for /Q/ but my SO more commonly realizes /Q/ as [A] than [Q]). At the same time, I generally perceive [O] as /o/ not as /Q/, and the presence of such in an English dialect definitely sounds accented to me.