Like croissant, like quiche, focaccia and ciabatta

Mark A. Mandel mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU
Mon Sep 18 21:17:50 UTC 2006

Chris F Waigl reported
> Bratwurst is pronounced with a short A (rhymes with "lot").

I lamented:
> Whatever happened to "short A" as [ae], the vowel of The
> Cat in the Hat?

[And looking at what I dictated, I would've changed "whatever" to "what
ever" if I had noticed it.*]

Ben Zimmer points out:

Note that the source Chris quoted was from Wisconsin, where "brat"
takes the "cot" vowel, not the "cat" vowel (shifted according to NCVS,
of course).


That's as may be, but I wasn't lamenting the Northern Cities Vowel Shift,
but the use of "short A" as a name for the low back unrounded vowel
phoneme of English rather than the low front vowel.

-- Mark
[This text prepared with Dragon NaturallySpeaking.]

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list