Ambiguous AHD/AmE pronunciation guides

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Tue Dec 18 20:01:37 UTC 2007

On Dec 18, 2007, at 11:33 AM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:

> Thank you for that explanation. That is the reason why I selected only
> the issue that I did: five percent (at an absolute minimum estimate)
> seems to be significant enough that it should be taken into account.
> BB

but percentages of what?  some non-standard features are used by a
great many speakers; should they be listed?

then there's the fact that there are regional standards.

i wonder what you'd get if you set the cutoff at 5% of standard
speakers (for some definition of "standard").  not that we have any
actual data of the appropriate sort.  (instead, people use their
estimates/impressions, plus data from small studies.)

> Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:

>> yes, it's awful.  why, the distinction between "mad" (with higher and
>> tenser vowel) and "glad" is disregarded as well, when au courant
>> speakers scrupously distinguish them.

well, "scrupulously".  too many U's.


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