Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Dec 24 17:30:00 UTC 2008

My comment was that, for example, you can have a native speaker who
cannot hear differences in the vowel sounds of marry, merry and Mary,
even though they do themselves pronounce them differently.

(I once had a friend spend five minutes with me, at the end of which,
I was convinced that I could hear a difference in one of these three.
I don't know if I still believe it or not as the effect of being able
to distinguish one was temporary.)

So it's possible that I have two or three pronunciations for Claus/
clause/claws even though they sound identical to my ears.

And seriousness aside, doing this is the only way we're going to get
English to a pentavocalic system such that we can get our letters to
match up to our speech. BB

On Dec 24, 2008, at 7:30 AM, ronbutters at AOL.COM wrote:

> Well, literally this would only be true of, say, a high-pitched fart
> that only a dog could hear.
> Maybe what BB meant to say is that speakers vary unknowingly between
> sounds (such as [a] and "open o") without realizing it. In the
> language of linguistics, they are allophones in free variation (a
> concept that Tom Zurinskas  apparently does not understand despite
> years of exposure on ads-l, leading him to insult gratuitouslyt
> people who have a different phonemic system from his own).
> ------Original Message------
> From: Benjamin Barrett
> Sender: ADS-L
> To: ADS-L
> ReplyTo: ADS-L
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] opportYOUnity
> Sent: Dec 23, 2008 11:05 PM
> Native speakers are known to produce differences they cannot hear, but
> all three (clause included) sound identical to me. BB
> On Dec 23, 2008, at 7:59 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>> Disregarding that the correct pronunciation of "Claus" is 'klows"
>> ("ow" as in "ouch", and "s" not "z"), I think I pronounce "Claus" and
>> "claws" differently -- more "w" in "claws".  For me, "Claus" is like
>> "clause".
>> Or am I missing the fact that Ben is joshing?  (What does "klahz"
>> rhyme with?)
>> Joel
>> At 12/23/2008 10:27 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>>> But the *correct* pronunciation of Claus and claws is indeed the
>>> same:
>>> klahz; just ask anyone in my family. Those who would clutter the
>>> English language by adding superfluous vowels are truly demonic
>>> because doing so will lead to children being completely unable to
>>> figure out how to read. BB
>>> On Dec 23, 2008, at 7:19 PM, Scot LaFaive wrote:
>>>>> I'm beginning to *thing* the "awe-droppers" have some kind of
>>>>> speech
>>>> impediment to mispronounce Santa Claus.
>>>> Much like the language impairment involved in the dropping of [ng]
>>>> for [k]
>>>> by some writers.
>>>> Scot
>>>> On 12/23/08, Tom Zurinskas <truespel at hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> A Bank of America commercial puts "you" in "opportYOUnity".
>>>>> Interesting.
>>>>> Also, I heard today somewhere on TV - Santa Clahz (~klaaz).  Yes,
>>>>> is there
>>>>> no respect by these infernal "awe-droppers".  Unfortunately m-
>>>>> w.com
>>>>> is
>>>>> infected.  The word "Claus" should be spoken the same as claws.
>>>>> But in
>>>>> m-w.com "claws" ~klauz spoken clahs ~klaaz even though the
>>>>> phonetics show
>>>>> an o with a dot over it (~au in truespel) which should be ~Klauz.
>>>>> I'm beginning to thing the "awe-droppers" have some kind of speech
>>>>> impediment to mispronounce Santa Claus.

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

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