the long and the short of it

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Mar 18 00:35:51 UTC 2003

At 4:09 PM -0800 3/17/03, FRITZ JUENGLING wrote:
>  >>> laurence.horn at YALE.EDU 03/17/03 03:22PM >>>
>At 6:11 PM -0500 3/17/03, David Bergdahl wrote:
>>We didn't have those, but I thought "short o" was the vowel of "dog"
>>and "laundry" as opposed to that of "log", "frog", and "father".
>>Hard to remember, though.
>Those are all the same for me.

Right, but for those who round the vowel of "dog" but not that of the
other words in the group, it makes a certain kind of sense to retain
the name "short o" for the rounded open-o vowel of "dog", while using
some "a" vowel label (but not "long a!") for the unrounded one in
"log", "father", etc.  I remember college dictionaries using the
a-with-two-dots-on-it (formally, but not functionally, an umlaut) for
that one, and an o-with-a-breve for the "dog" vowel, usually with a
note somewhere about variation.  Or maybe the dictionaries used the
o-breve for "log" and "frog" too, and included a note to the effect
that some speakers (like me) pronounce those words with the


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