Dueling dialects

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Aug 20 14:23:19 UTC 2004

At 10:00 AM -0400 8/20/04, David Bergdahl wrote:
>Ed (from SE PA/Philly) wrote:
>No way, the classical 3-way distinction was: Mary [e],
>merry [@], marry [ae]. Any other pronunciation is
>barbaric :)
>so merry = Murray??
>4-way splitting David from Valley Stream, LI, NY

Yes, that was the locus classicus for that particular dialect, and
taking account of it does turn us purists into 4-way splitters as you
point out.  Most U.S. speakers do distinguish "Murray" from the other
three, so they're 2-way speakers.  (This is beginning to sound like
ordering chili in Cincinnati.)


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