"open o" loss

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Thu Apr 24 20:43:00 UTC 2008

on 4/24/08 2:07 PM, Wilson Gray at hwgray at GMAIL.COM wrote:

> What "reversal"? These two words are homonyms, falling together as "farmer."
> At first, I didn't even notice the difference in spelling in Larry's
> example, since "farmer  former  fart  fort" all have the syllabic
> sound, far - uh, I mean "for," of course - us speakers of the (old?)
> Saint Louis dialect. And "for" and "far," seem-like to me, fall
> together universally as "far" in r-ful BE dialects.
> For me, spoken English reached the peak of perfection ca.1958. So,
> many of my observations may be as outdated as my observations WRT
> slang.
> ~~~~~~~~~
I'm gettin' pretty confused here.  By me, "far" & "for" are quite distinct:
rhyming with "tar" &  "tore", respectively.  Thinking back to my childhood,
I recalled that my father (formative years 1880-1900, Mansfield, Ohio)  & my
mother  (formative years 1905-20, St. Louis, Mo) pronounced the name
"Dorothy" as /Dar at thy/ and /Dorothy/ respectively. But I'm pretty sure  they
both distinguished "for" & "far" same as me.
WRT "Horse" & "hoarse," I can barely hear any difference in my own speeech.
(Cot & caught very distinct.)

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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