Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Fri Jul 12 15:43:40 UTC 2002

On Fri, 12 Jul 2002, Peter A. McGraw wrote:

#On the other hand, I distinguish hawk-hawk (though not merry/marry/Mary,

You mean hawk/HOCK, right?

#etc.) and find it outlandish that anyone would merge them, and yet I was
#just as surprised as Allen and Anne to learn that I'm apparently surrounded
#by people who do (merge them).  I apparently "project" my pronunciation on
#those around me.  I don't think there's a Washington/Oregon isogloss,
#though I also have to disqualify myself as a "pure" representative of
#Pacific NW speech, since I moved here in 5th Grade and both my parents came
#from other parts of the country.  However, similar backgrounds are shared
#many, many other people residing in the Northwest and contributing to its
#linguistic mix.
#In another post, Matthew Gordon observed:
#"Labov's TELSUR project found noone in the NW who had a consistent
#distinction between the low back vowels. The general pattern is as expected
#of waves of the future: younger speakers merge while older speakers are
#I suspect there must be a lot more complexity behind the word "consistent"
#and the variability among older speakers than is captured in this simple
#statement, and more to the agreement of Allen, Anne and myself in favor of
#the distinction than a simple failure of all three of us to correctly
#observe our own speech.

ISTR a finding, prob. by Labov, that people can maintain distinctions in
their own production that they fail to recognize in other people's
speech or their own.

-- Mark A. Mandel

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