Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Fri Apr 21 14:48:57 UTC 2006


I'd say BOAT versus BOOT are about equal in inaccuracy (since the
glide final position is probably at GOOD); it's the fact that the
diphthongal quality of the Canadian-raised goody is missed altogether.

The related puzzler is that the Canadian raising of the NIGHT vowel
awakens no response at all, while the OUT vowel is a real howler.

Sort of like my WH - W distinction, which causes no notice or comment
here in MI, but when I neutralize I/E before nasals, the locals yuck
it up.


>At 8:47 AM -0400 4/21/06, Dennis R. Preston wrote:
>>Ah dint know you were doin folk perceptual dialect phonology. I
>>suspect you are right. I'm always amazed that local Michiganders hear
>>Ontario "about" (and imitate it) as "a boot")
>And not just Michiganders.  I've always wondered why--even if the
>misrepresentation is influenced by the need to come with a form that
>has a transparent orthographic form (cf. "boid" and "earl" for
>so-called Brooklynese), it wasn't "a boat" rather than "a boot" that
>folks came up with for Canadian--that's at least closer, isn't it?
>The American Dialect Society -

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
15C Morrill Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
preston at

The American Dialect Society -

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