cot-caught merger

Jeff   Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:55 am GMT
When I read about the cot-caught merger, it usually talks about it's many varieties of North American English. However, I'm from Wales and I pronounce "cot" as /kQt/ and "caught" as /kQ:t/, so I'd say it's not unique to North American English.
Josh Lalonde   Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:55 am GMT
If you consistently pronounce LOT words with a short /Q/ and THOUGHT words with a long /Q:/, then you don't have the merger. I, on the other hand, pronounce them both with a longish /Q:/. The cot-caught merger does occur in Scotland though, so it's not just in North America. I've never heard of it in England or Wales though.
Lazar   Thu Jun 07, 2007 3:27 am GMT
As Josh pointed out, if you make a consistent length distinction between LOT and THOUGHT words, then you don't have the merger. Like Josh, I have a complete merger of those two sets, using [Q:].
Uriel   Thu Jun 07, 2007 3:29 am GMT
It's still a lot closer than having a whole different vowel, though.
Guy   Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:16 am GMT
Maybe closer, but /Q/ and /Q:/ distinction is not a merger.
Lilly   Mon Jun 25, 2007 12:28 pm GMT
I guess 90% of cot/caught merged people in the US have [A] as their merged vowel.
[Q] is sometimes heard in California, but it is associated to the Valley Girl accent. It sounds affected.

not [nAt]
hot [hAt]
dog [dAg]
lot [lAt]
dawn [dAn]
Don [dAn]
caught [kAt]
cot [kAt]
stalker [stAk@r]
stocker [stAk@r]