California vowels

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIOU.EDU
Mon Jan 31 21:08:08 UTC 2005

Here's a question:  I saw "Sideways" yesterday (so-so...) and noticed that
the buddy character played by Haden Church (or Church Haden?) said for Okay
[ok@] or possibly [okE].  Is this backing or laxing common in California
speech?  The presentation on Southern CA speech at ADS noted lowered and
backed /ae/ and /E/, but not this /e/ --> /E/ or /@/.  Might /e/ have gone
to /E/ first and then to /@/?  The guy also had fronted /o/ but I didn't
hear fronted /u/, though I may have missed it; the ADS speaker claimed
u-fronting is more common but admitted this is disputed.

These guys are supposed to be in San Diego, maybe LA, but only Church
seemed "native."  Any comments?

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