coffin pronunciation

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Mar 14 16:58:37 UTC 2008

At 3/14/2008 10:13 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>At 9:36 AM -0400 3/14/08, Lynne Murphy wrote:
>>Raised in a funeral home in NYS, therefore I pronounce it 'casket'.
>>('Coffin' is for people who say 'undertaker', 'funeral parlor' and 'wake'
>>instead of 'funeral director', 'funeral home' and 'calling hours'.)
>Ah, but
>"It wasn't the cough that carried him, but the coffin they carried him off in"
>doesn't work nearly as well when you replace it with "casket"

Nor with the other pronunciation of coffin.


>>But I also have a caught/cot distinction and would use the open-o when
>>obnoxiously 'correcting' people on this matter--which I felt much need to
>>do as a child...
>>--On Thursday, March 13, 2008 1:53 pm -0500 Matthew Gordon
>><gordonmj at MISSOURI.EDU> wrote:
>>>I was listening to a podcast featuring 2 thirty-something New Yorkers. One
>>>of them pronounced 'coffin' with an open-o, and the other ridiculed him,
>>>saying something about how it's not 'coughin'.
>>>My question for those of you who maintain the distinction between /a/ and
>>>open-o: Do you all have /a/ for 'coffin'? I'm wondering whether this is
>>>another example of a word that varies in its phonemic assignment.
>>Dr M Lynne Murphy
>>Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and English Language
>>Arts B135
>>University of Sussex
>>Brighton BN1 9QN
>>phone: +44-(0)1273-678844
>>The American Dialect Society -
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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