Kregg vs. Craig

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Jul 20 18:22:25 UTC 2002

At 12:09 AM -0700 7/20/02, Kim & Rima McKinzey wrote:
>For me, born and raised in NYC, Craig rhymes with vague and Greg
>rhymes with leg.  I also distinguish between Mary/merry/marry.  I
>wonder, though, why Gary rhymes with marry and not Mary.

This one puzzled me too at some point, when I tried to discover my
own vowel rules, for a dialect very similar to Rima's (must have been
in intro phonology).   I think I concluded that underlyingly for me
the name was "Garry", even though it could be spelled either way.
(After all, Garry Moore was the archetype Garry.)  And of course that
makes it rhyme with other "closed syllable" -rry names (Larry, Barry,
Harry) and words (carry, marry, tarry, parry).  This doesn't actually
work, though, because I'm pretty sure "Cary" (as in Grant) is always
spelled with one -r-, but it too rhymed with "marry" (and "carry")
rather than with "Mary" or the "airy" words.  Definitely lexical
(i.e. idiosyncratic), and not particularly stable; I now go either
way on "Cary" and "Gary".

Larry (rhyming with Gary and Cary)

P.S.  I'm quite sure that if I were singing the song from "The Music
Man", I'd sing it with my /ae/ and not my /eh/ vowel, which is maybe
why I avoid singing it:
GARRY, Indi-
ana, GARRY
ana, Let me
say it once again

[No, I don't usually spell it that way, I just pronounce it as if I did]

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