/or/ distinctions and more

Dfcoye at AOL.COM Dfcoye at AOL.COM
Fri Apr 14 14:02:27 UTC 2000

In a message dated 4/13/00 12:49:07 PM EST, laurence.horn at YALE.EDU writes:

<< I grew up with the New Yorker's [ar] for all of these (that is, low
 relatively back unrounded, as in CAR), but when I went to college in
 upstate New Yorker, I became self-conscious enough to adapt to the
 indigenous [or] (as in SORE, with open o/backward c) in such words as
 "forest", "moral", "orange", "Oregon", and especially "corridor"--after my
 KAH-r at -dor pronunciation got mocked once too often for my comfort.  I
 mostly still use the SORE vowel for these words (although it's somewhat
 variable), but I don't think I ever switched over on "sorry".  I'm not sure
 what determined this, other than the shibboleth status of "corridor" and,
 to a lesser extent, "orange".  Anyway, it's interesting that others might
 have shifted in the opposite (or-->ar) direction.

 larry >>

Not sure where you were in upstate NY, but Central NY, and I think most of
upstate NY except near the Canadian border has /ar/ in sorry, tomorrow, but
/or/ in forest, Dorothy, Florida, and words of that class (orange by the way
is a nice solid monosyllable /orndZ/).  I believe that Canada has /or/ in
sorry, tomorrow, sorrow, morrow, but am not sure if it's universal there.
This is for the speakers who have no horse/hoarse distinction.

Dale Coye
The College of NJ

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