Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Apr 17 04:47:43 UTC 2001

At 9:02 AM -0700 4/17/01, Peter A. McGraw wrote:
>If "reservor" has a geographic area, then it must also include Southern
>California, because that's where I learned the word.  It was what people
>called a body of water contained by a big wall built against a hillside
>above La Jolla.
>In the Northwest we have a big chain of reservoirs, but we just call them
>the "Columbia River."
>Peter Mc.
I'm no phonologist (and I don't even play one on TV), but I just
wanted to insert a cautionary note on all these reports.  Given that,
if my guess is correct, we're talking about essentially the same
vowel in the "reservwahr" and "reservor" pronunications (especially
since in that context, there will be some rounding of an [a]), the
only difference is in whether or not you have the [w], i.e.
lip-rounding between the [v] and the vowel.  But given the
labiodentality of the [v], you're gonna have some rounding anyway, so
the difference between the two pronunciations may come down to just
how quickly you pass through that [v(w)V] sequence.  There's still a
difference, but I suspect it's subtler than our discourse has


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