"centre metres"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Dec 18 16:29:24 UTC 2009

At 12/18/2009 10:51 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>Thanks; this confirms my speculation on the issue.  Ever since I was
>introduced to linguistics (sometime in the early 1960s) by Henry
>Gleason's _Intro_, in which he discusses (inconclusively) the
>possible contrast between "Rosa's" (with a schwa) and "roses" (with,
>in his system, a barred-I) and acknowledged the difficulty of finding
>minimal contrasts between unstressed vowels, I've been unable to
>decide if I make the contrast and if so whether others hear it.
>(This came up a few years later when I spent time in person and on
>paper with two linguists, George Lakoff and Georgia Green, and the
>distinction between "Georgia's" and "George's" would have carried a
>functional load if it in fact existed.)

This fussy fuddy-duddy (i.e., "pretentious snob") likely will be
slapped again, but I believe I distinguish "Rosa's" (with a schwa)
and "roses" (with, in his system, a barred-I) as well as "Georgia's"
and "George's" (same pair of vowels).

For the former, one could try "Rosas/roses are not often blue" --
they're generally happy/do not grow in that color.


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list