contrastive stress on "an"

Dennis Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Tue Nov 13 23:31:39 UTC 2007

We call them suckers wedges (not wedgies).


>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
>Subject:      Re: contrastive stress on "an"
>It does not sound odd to me: "I don't want a(n) apple, I want THUH
>apple." I'm just not sure whether (or with what frequency) I would
>say that.
>Back in the remote days when I was Archibald Hill's student, we
>represented stressed schwas with the upside-down "V" things (which I
>don't know how to write or name). I haven't seen those in a while.
>---- Original message ----
>>Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 14:24:34 -0500
>>From: "Dennis R. Preston" <preston at MSU.EDU>
>>Stressed schwa would be odd I think. I bet it's /Diy/.
>>>And, in a parallel way, for dialects (like mine) with invariant
>>>[D@] for "the," even before vowel-initial words, I wonder is we
>>>might adopt the pronunciation [Di] for emphasis?  "I want th'
>>>apple" vs. "I don't want a(n) apple, I want THE apple."
>>>---- Original message ----
>>>>Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 11:25:38 -0500
>>>>From: "Dennis R. Preston" <preston at MSU.EDU>
>>>>Both /ey/ and /aen/ sound good to me; I think the contrastive
>>>>stress does away with the /n/ requirement in the first (and I
>>>>don't have the /n/ in colloquial usage anyhow). Fun variationist
>>>>project: Does contrastive stress on "an" more often realize
>>>>itself as /ey/ for speakers who don't have the nasal?
>The American Dialect Society -

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
Morrill Hall 15-C
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48864 USA

The American Dialect Society -

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