[Ads-l] melodicas and bazookas

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Nov 4 16:11:22 EDT 2016


> On Nov 4, 2016, at 3:33 PM, Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
> 
> Sometimes Larry and I agree (did we both grow up in NYC at around the same time?)

b. 1945, Manhattan (Chelsea 1945-48, Wash. Heights 1948-1957 in my case)

> , but for me "purr" is more "uh" than per ("er").

I admit it's a bit hard to tell given the different prosody, which is why I needed to put the latter in an elliptical context, but as I say they *seem* homophonous to me.  As Labov pointed out decades ago, that doesn't mean a spectrograph couldn't tell them apart.

LH
> 
> 
>      From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
> Sent: Friday, November 4, 2016 2:52 PM
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] melodicas and bazookas
> 
>> On Nov 4, 2016, at 1:22 PM, Robin Hamilton <robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM> wrote:
>> 
>> I'd pronounce "fear" as a diphthong too, I think.
>> 
>> But interestingly, when I was searching for minimal pairs where I'd pronounce
>> the vowel differently (at least, inside my head -- a tape-recorder might beg to
>> differ, which is one among several reasons why I was always rotten at
>> phonetics), I came up with peer/pier vs. pair/pare, and purse vs. parze, but for
>> the life of me, the best I could manage for a monosyllabic version of "-per" was
>> the quasi-Latin  "as per usual".
> 
> What about "purr"?  For me, "How much per?" (asked elliptically while holding up an orange at a fruit stand) and "How much purr?" (asked semi-grammatically while holding up a cat at a pet store) are pretty much homophonous.  
> 
> 
>> 
>> Does English only allow "per" as a bound prefix?
>> 
>> Sort of why I thought "Merry Mary married hairy Harry" (a marriage made in hell)
>> might be relevant to the issue.
>> 
>> Robin
>> 
>>> 
>>>     On 04 November 2016 at 16:57 Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM>
>>> wrote:
>>> 
>>> 
>>>     FWIW, for me, the vowel in “McPherson” is a monophthong, but “fear” is
>>> either disyllabic or the vowel is a diphthong. BB
>>> 
>>>> On 4 Nov 2016, at 01:57, Robin Hamilton
>>>> <robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> In my idiolect, it rhymes with "person", not "purse on" or "fearsome".
>>>> 
>>>> Are we into Mary's Marriage territory here?
>>>> 
>>>> Robin
>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> I used to say "fur" because I saw a movie with a character named
>>>>> "MacPherson" who was called "manFURson" by the other characters. But it
>>>>> seems to me that, in real life, most people say "macFEERson."
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
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