cot/caught on the street

Matthew Gordon gordonmj at MISSOURI.EDU
Tue Jul 1 20:23:30 UTC 2008

This has been a pretty well known regional variable in American dialectology
since the Linguistic Atlas days. The basic distribution is /a/ in the North
and open-o in the Midlands and South. Labov's recent Atlas of North American
English found the isogloss still holds, roughly coinciding with Interstate
80 from PA to IL. When you get west of there the point is moot as there
dwell the evil awe-droppers, who, contrary to Tom's characterization, have
the freedom to use either phone (and many in between) in this or any other
word of either historical class - Your phonemic boundaries won't hold us!
-Matt Gordon

On 7/1/08 2:56 PM, "Tom Zurinskas" <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:

> Interestingly for "on" gives the "awe" sound symbol first, but the
> speaker says "ah".
> Main Entry: 1on
> Pronunciation: \ˈȯn, ˈän\
> I would think that "ah" would be the majority vowel in the word "on".
> Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+
> See - and the 4 truespel books plus "Occasional Poems" at

The American Dialect Society -

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