Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Mon Jun 17 12:58:29 UTC 2002

>This quasi-developmental phoneme classification is clearest in my
>speech as regards the cot-caught distinction (which I have
>well-preserved) when it comes to classifying those two phonemes,
>especially before /g/. All my childhood words (fog, hog, dog, frog,
>log, etc...) have the vowel of "caught"; later-learned words are
>often invariably that of "cot": togs, cog, clog, bog, jog, etc... . I
>seem to have learned metaphoric (verbal) "bog" before the literal
>noun. Therefore, I have a variable "bog down" (=become mired in) with
>both vowels - but now early-morning introspection begins to fail me.

Why is "g" different? I speak all the "-g" words (I think) with the
"caught" vowel /O/, but comparable words with other terminal stops have /a/
like in "cot" ... e.g., "cop cob cot cod cock cog" = /kap kab kat kad kak
kOg/. Others in my family have the same. My talking RH dictionary seems to
tend this way too. I think /kag/, /klag/, /dZag/ do seem less 'wrong' to me
than /dag/, /lag/, /fag/ -- something like Dennis says above. My weather
radio (Pittsburgh) says "fahg" /fag/ instead of "fawg" /fOg/ ... which
strikes me (and at least some others) as odd.

-- Doug Wilson

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