TomOHrrow or TomAHrrow

a more original name.   Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:07 pm GMT
It is probably an awkward mix, but I have [Q] for both HONG and KONG. In fact, all vowels before -ng and non-silent l have [Q]. In words where the l is silent (ex. CALM, PALM, BALM), the vowel is shifted down to [a].
a more original name.   Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:17 pm GMT
I forgot to add that in certain words where the L is not pronounced (ex. TALK, WALK, CHALK, and BALK), the vowel is almost always [Q].

I have a CALLER-COLLAR merger, but COT-CAUGHT, HOCK-HAWK, and DON-DAWN are all unmerged.

COT, HOCK, and DON have [a].
CAUGHT, HAWK, and DAWN have [Q].
cot   Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:26 am GMT
You have [a] and [Q] rather than [A] and [Q], or [a] and [A]? So you make a huge distinction between them. Interesting.
a more original name.   Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:37 pm GMT
I am sure there are instances where [Q] shifts to [A], but I have yet to sit down and analyze it. I would imagine it is more likely to occur in the CLOTH set rather than the THOUGHT set, and never before the dark L.

GONE and ON both have [a], but I can see where HONG KONG could easily shift between [Q] and [A]. Words such as WASH are often grouped into the CLOTH set, but several of these have [a] instead of [Q] or [A]. Unlike many unmerged speakers, BALL and DOLL always use the same vowel [Q].
Kelly   Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:29 pm GMT
So your [bQl] (ball) sounds like my [bQl] (bowl)...
Superbowl [su:p@rbQl]...
(I have /A/ in ball)

So, there are several [bQl]s according to region/person:

[bQl] bowl
[bQl] bull
[bQl] ball
a more original name.   Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:25 am GMT
Very interesting. My pronunciation of BALL [bQl] is very different from my pronunciation of BOWL [bo:l].
original name   Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:49 am GMT
ball /bAl/
Bull /bUl/
Bowl /bo(U)l/

I'm from the West.
feati   Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:11 pm GMT
Someone mentioned that some people with the cot-caught-merger who normally use [A] for the merged vowel use [Q] before [5] and [N]. I was wondering if they also use [Q] before [g] and [k] since they're also velar consonants, just like [5] and [N].

As for the ball/bowl thing: I don't think I've ever heard someone pronounce /oUl/ as [Q5]. [O5] however seems to be a pretty common realization. Not only for /oUl/ but also for /Vl/ and /Ul/ as it seems:
Milton   Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:39 am GMT
Someone mentioned that some people with the cot-caught-merger who normally use [A] for the merged vowel use [Q] before [5] and [N] ''

what is [N] is it -ŋ? I guess c/c merger has nothing to do with it...
See why:

The preferred -Ong vowel ''Song, Long, Wrong, Hong Kong'' in Western US and in Atlantic Canada ' is [ɑ:], /Q/ is occasionally heard tho' in Northern California, Oregon and Washington.
/ɑ/ in ''Song, Long, Wrong'' and [a] in ''Hong Kong'' is common in the Great Lakes Area.
/ɑ/ in ''Song, Long, Wrong, Hong Kong'' is frequent in the South as well, even in the c/c unmerged areas.

Even dictionaries that don't list the c/c/merged pronunciations (American Heritage Dict. for example), give the alternative -O(ng) pronunciations:

song [so:ŋ, sɑ:ŋ]
long [lo:ŋ), lɑ:ŋ]...

In Western and Central Canada (from Vancouver to Toronto) [Q] is preferred, but many people have [ɑ], they're interchangeable.
In St. John's (NewFoundland), the merged c/c vowel is in the central area [ä], and ''song, long, wrong, Hong Kong'' vowel is never fully back and rounded, it's less central than in the cot/caught vowel but they're not fully back and rounded (cot/caught [kä:t], doll/call [dɑ:l/kɑ:l], Hong Kong / wrong song [hɑ:ŋ kɑ:ŋ /wrɑ:ŋ sɑ:ŋ]...Here is a small sample:

you can preview various dialectal pronunciations of some words here:




Some traditional Scottish, Irish and/or Northern English accents have unrounded vowel /ɑ/ in ''all, long''...So, one could presume the unrounded pronunciation is the older one (compare with ALLES, LANG in German, these words have the unrounded vowel [ɑ]).

LONG [lɑ:ŋ, wrɑ:ŋ, sɑ:ŋ] in MW Learner's Dic:

SONG ([sɑ:ŋ]) in Hollywood:

Unrounded /ɑ/'s in a famous song: ''call, fall, long'' [kɑ:l, fɑ:l, lɑ:ŋ] California's Martika hit: Toy Soldiers:
Kendra   Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:30 am GMT
thanks for the links.
The low back merger is one of my favorite topics here on the boards.
I don't know why so many Americans are unaware of its existence.
Nitsuj   Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:41 pm GMT
It's [t@"mAroU] for me.

But I wonder if there is actually three variants among the entire NAmE, like "to-mah-ro", "to-maw-ro" and "to-more-ro"? By "to-maw-ro" I mean the THOUGHT set vowel for those who don't have c-c merger and don't use the tighter [o]~[O] either.
vowel   Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:12 pm GMT
I think there probably is. I use the NORTH vowel in tomorrow, which I associate with the TONE vowel, and it is nothing like the CAUGHT vowel.
TaylorS   Wed Sep 02, 2009 1:28 am GMT
I pronounce Tomorrow as [tʰmɔʁoː], I'm from the Upper Midwest. And yes, that is a uvular R there, my R is uvular after back vowels.
Travis   Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:32 am GMT
I myself, being from Milwaukee rather than Fargo, say one of [ˈtʲʰmɑːʁo(ː)], [tʲʰə̃ːˈmɑːʁo(ː)], [tʲʰʉ̯̃ũˈmɑːʁo(ː)], or, only if preceded by a vowel, [ɾ̥ʲə̃ːˈmɑːʁo(ː)]. (And yes, that really is a uvular /r/ there.)
Uriel   Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:56 am GMT
So that's what they're talking about! This guy doesn't even sound like he belongs in North America: