"long" and "short" vowels

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Thu Jun 18 14:36:11 UTC 2009

From:    Tom Zurinskas <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>
> somebody left unattributed wrote:

>> Yes, long [a] interpreted *quantitatively* (often
>> represented as [a:] is pronounced with the same
>> tongue position as short "a", but just prolonged.

> So you're saying "mate" and "mat" vowels have the same tongue
> position (I think close but not same).  And you say "mate" vowel
> takes longer to say than "mat" (I say them over and over and they
> seem the same).  This is quantitative, somehow?  (time measure and
> physical tongue location?)

Tom, please, *please*, PLEASE go get a copy of Peter Ladefoged's _A
Course in Phonetics_ and give it a good read-through. It's short, and
someone like you who's interested in the sounds of human speech should
be able to hang with it, even the more technical bits--and it would
really help avoid these talking-past-each-other moments. So, please?

David Bowie                               University of Central Florida
     Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
     house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
     chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

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

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