Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Wed Apr 19 19:51:55 UTC 2000

Nope, not ignorant, just conflated.

Your imagination is wrong.  Here's what happnes among those of us who
distinguish nearly everything (except I-E before nasals, of course, but who
cares about that?).

hoarse has the same vowel as coat (long-o)
horse has the same vowel as caught (open-o)
parse has the same vowel as hot (short-o)

People who merge caught-cot (at cot) do not do so before /r/, which has
casued some of the confusion in this exchange.


>Pardon my ignorance - could someone explain what the pronunciation
>difference of
>horse/hoarse and for that matter for/four is?  All I can imagine is "horse"
>pronounced something like "farce" and "hoarse" like "force"...
>Incidently, in watching the BBC news last night, I was cracking up at the
>weatherman's pronunciation of "Europe", essentially it came out "yurp".

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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