"boxes" and "boxers".

Rodd   Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:45 pm GMT
I pronounce this distinctly, as [bQksIz] and [bQks@z]. Does anyone here pronounce them the same?
Jim   Wed Aug 15, 2007 3:08 pm GMT
I do: /bOk.s@z/
That's the weak vowel merger for ya (a feature of Aussie English, which I speak)
Guest   Wed Aug 15, 2007 3:25 pm GMT
>>That's the weak vowel merger for ya (a feature of Aussie English, which I speak)<<

That's clearly a broader weak vowel merger than that present in most North American English dialects, which usually preserve morpheme-final /@/ and keep it distinct other weak vowels in the same environment but with different morphemic structures. The classic example for this being:

"Rosa's" ["Ro:z@:s]
"roses" ["Ro:z1:s]

(Also the weak vowel merger is probably actually partial beyond such in most NAE dialects, but the conditions under which the merger occurs or does not occur are often rather nonobvious.)
Jim   Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:13 pm GMT
"Rosa's" & "roses" are homophones for me: ["r\@}.z@z] ... I guess there's no respecting morpheme boundaries in AusE on this one.
Travis   Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:15 pm GMT
"Bizarre" and "bazaar" are a minimal pair for me:

"bizarre" [b1:"zA:R]
"bazarre" [b@:"zA:R]

but "prescribe" and "proscribe" are not:

"prescribe", "proscribe" [pR@"skRa:Ib], [pr\@"skRa:Ib], [pR@"skRa:Ip], [pr\@"skRa:Ip]

There are particular morphemes that seem to not be affected by this merger, such as "-ic", which is always [1?k]* and never [@?k], whereas the reduced vowel merger normally merges /@k/ and /Ik/ to [@?k] here.

* I really should start marking fortis plosive preglottalization in my transcriptions consistently, as it does not correspond to actual voicing here, as one can easily encounter voiceless plosives from lenis phonemes which are not preglottalized here.
Travis   Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:37 pm GMT
That should be "easily encounter postvocalic and intervocalic voiceless plosives" above.
Travis   Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:39 pm GMT
Forget about the "intervocalic" above, as that case cannot actually occur phonetically even though it may very well be possible if "intervocalic" refers to the phonemic level.
Jim H.   Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:20 pm GMT
"Rosa's" /r\oUz@z/ versus. "roses" /roUzIz/.