/or/ distinctions and more

Natalie Maynor maynor at CS.MSSTATE.EDU
Thu Apr 13 12:29:19 UTC 2000

Bethany wrote:

> Earlier somoene suggested that I am the last living speaker who
> distinguishes horse - hoarse. I also distinguish cot - caught etc.

The cot/caught distinction is alive and well in Mississippi, but
there are few horse/hoarse distinguishers.  (That's my unscientific
observation -- no real research.  I think it's a pretty accurate
observation, though, based on both what my ears tell me and on
discussions of these matters with students.)

On a phonologically different subject but on the relic thread, I'm
beginning to wonder if I might end up as the last living which/witch
distinguisher.  I think I've mentioned before that I've seen the
number of distinguishers plummet over the past twenty or so years
among college students in Mississippi -- from a majority to a handful.
   --Natalie Maynor (maynor at ra.msstate.edu)

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