/bolth/ for both

Greg Pulliam pulliam at IIT.EDU
Wed Apr 6 18:30:45 UTC 2005

Thanks for this.  I take it /o/ is fronting toward the central vowel
as in "but"?  And words like "cold" and "bolt" are resistant to this?
How do we account for "both" being disassociated with the fronted /o/
and associated with the back [o]--perhaps it just happens in emphatic


>I haven't been following this thread so forgive me if this observation has
>been made already.
>I don't see how it could be related to the Northern Cities Shift which
>involves, mostly short vowels.
>A more plausible connection is with /o/ fronting which is common across the
>Midlands (and elsewhere). Importantly /o/ is generally resistent to fronting
>when it appears before /l/. So the back [o] allophone comes to be associated
>with /ol/ context and thus an /l/ is inserted unetymologically.
>I think J. Ohala has written on this phenomenon.
>On 4/6/05 12:14 PM, "Greg Pulliam" <pulliam at IIT.EDU> wrote:
>>  Maybe the /bolth/ pronunciation is related to the northern cities
>>  shift?  A movement (in just this word or a few words right now) of
>>  the /o/ vowel slightly back or down, the result of which more sounds
>>  like, than actually is, /bolth/.
>>  Greg
>>>  I've never heard "bolth" or "polm"
>>>  I have always pronounced the "l" in "almond", even
>>>  after having been corrected.  Doesn't the voice in the
>>>  TV ads for Almond Joy pronounce the "l"? (I haven't
>>>  heard an ad for Almond Joy in a long, long time.)
>>>  FWIW, I say "nucular" more often than not, and I don't
>>>  pronounce the "t" in "often" or "soften.  (On Wheel of
>>>  Fortune a while back, a woman had part of the word
>>>  "soften" on the board as part of a phrase - something
>>>  like "**ften" - and when she correctly completed the
>>>  phrase she pronounced the "t", followed by a look of
>>>  confusion or puzzlement on her face as she realized
>>>  what she'd said.)
>>>  --- Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM> wrote:
>>>>   FWIW, never heard "bolth" or "polm" round here - or
>>>>   anywhere else. "Almond" pronounced with all the
>>>>   letters, yes; also in NYC in the '50s.
>>>  James D. SMITH                 |If history teaches anything
>>>  South SLC, UT                  |it is that we will be sued
>>>  jsmithjamessmith at yahoo.com     |whether we act quickly and decisively
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>>  --
>>  -
>>  Greg
>>  http://www.pulliam.org



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