oxen / dachshund

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIOU.EDU
Thu Feb 13 17:04:46 UTC 2003

I just played it too, and I agree with Matt that both words had just plain
old /a/ (script a, that is).  I also don't hear anything particularly
Southern or Western.

At 05:59 PM 2/12/2003 -0600, you wrote:
>I listened to the commercial thanks to the link Mai posted, and I didnt'
>think the /a/ was particularly frontish. It's definitely unrounded but
>nowhere close to /ae/ at least to my ears, and as someone blessed with the
>'cot/caught' merger, I'm fairly sensitive to fronted /a/'s.
>-----Original Message-----
>From:   Beverly Flanigan [mailto:flanigan at OHIOU.EDU]
>Sent:   Wed 2/12/2003 4:08 PM
>Subject:             Re: oxen / dachshund
>At 02:45 PM 2/12/2003 -0600, you wrote:
> >on 2/12/03 1:29 PM, Beverly Flanigan at flanigan at OHIOU.EDU wrote:
> >
> > > (...)But rather than the Southern Shift, what Mai probably heard was
> > > the Northern Shift, with /a/ moving forward to /ae/, as in Detroit,
> > > Chicago, etc.  Labov's classic example is "locks" on a dam sounding like
> > > "lax" in Chicago, and I elicited a perfect "White Sax" from a Chicago
> taxi
> > > driver on a recent trip there.   So "oxen" would become [aeks at n], more or
> > > less.
> >
> >The non-linguistic elements in the ad (hats, hay, bug belt buckles, horses
> >snorting and high noon-type music in the background) kept me from thinking
> >about the NCVS! If only Sprint had consulted a linguist, they could have
> >gone with the alternate neutralization method that Larry suggested.
> >
> >-Mai
>Yeah, I'd guess the actors came from the Inland North and had no idea they
>didn't sound Western or Southern, and the Sprint ad writers didn't
>either.  I, from the Far (cold) North, have [a] in both words, like our
>Canadian friend.  But I'll listen again in case I missed something.  (Those
>little dogies--oops, doggies--ARE distracting.)

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