taimi metzler tmetzl at NETEZE.COM
Wed Apr 19 19:39:30 UTC 2000

i've been amazed at this discussion: where i come from (oregon, but rural and
urban), we always laughed at the [kw]arter pronunciation as something that only
people in the depths of new york city would use.

needless to say, my dialect makes no use of the [kw] variant, whether in
temporal or equine quarters.  and who has the cot/caught merger to the point
where, after years of training, i still have difficulty producing open-o on

however, i'm not so sure i agree that the a-O merger simply didn't occur before
/r/--after all, there are words like 'barter' and 'arbor' to show that /a/
occurs pretty easily before /r/.  my thought is that there are two processes:
first, the merger of  a and open-o; second, the dropping of the [w] in /kw/
which i'm sure is more recent.  my thought is that what is currently [Or] began
as [or], with the lowered formants of /r/ pulling down the position of the [o]
to give [O].  i'm thinking of words like 'border', 'board', 'forget', etc.

the case of quarter ([kO]) occurred because the w-drop occurred after the a-O
merger had happened.

can anyone think of any "ar" words that have the /Or/ pronunciation that do NOT
begin with qu?


taimi metzler
umevoice, inc.
novato, california

"Dennis R. Preston" wrote:

> That's the problem with this discussion (as I tried to point out in my
> longer note).
> People with caught-cot merger (usually in the direction of cot) do not have
> the merger before /r/. Therefore, the homophones which emerge are not
> quart-cot but quart-court.
> dInIs
> >As someone with unmerged caught and cot and with at least a mental, if not
> >necessarily always fully realized, [w] in "quarter" in all contexts--i.e.,
> >/kworter/--I'm having trouble imagining the sequences you're describing.
> >Do you mean you say /kwarter/ horse and /karter/ to one?!  (Or maybe you
> >didn't mean to imply that the merger applies to the vowel in "quarter".)
> >
> >Peter Mc.
> >
> >--On Wed, Apr 19, 2000 11:44 AM -0500 Beth Lee Simon
> ><simon at HOME2.MYSOLUTION.COM> wrote:
> >
> >> I have caught/cot merger (I'm cIA), and, as I said, have [kw] in quarter
> >> horse, but [k] in quarter to one.
> >>
> >> beth simon
> >
> >
> >
> >****************************************************************************
> >                               Peter A. McGraw
> >                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
> >                            pmcgraw at linfield.edu
> Dennis R. Preston
> Department of Linguistics and Languages
> Michigan State University
> East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
> preston at pilot.msu.edu
> Office: (517)353-0740
> Fax: (517)432-2736

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