voice and race recognition

john at research.haifa.ac.il john at research.haifa.ac.il
Thu Dec 30 05:32:05 UTC 2010

I'm also not an expert (I did live in Hawaii for a year but a long time
ago) but I think that the first a is a schwa because it's an unstressed
I've never heard of raised /ay/ as being a distinctive feature of any AAE
dialect. It isn't just 'Canadian'--aside from Hawaii also Scotland, Martha's
Vineyard, and Philadelphia (and I'm sure other places). The Blacks in
Philadelphia don't raise it at all, only the Whites. I would assume that the
Blacks on Martha's Vineyard raise much less than the Whites (judging from where
they live on the island), but in any case they're an old (at least the 18th
century) non-AAE-speaking community.

Quoting Johanna Rubba <jrubba at calpoly.edu>:

> So far as I know (and Geoff Nathan can correct me if I'm wrong),
> short /a/ in Hawai'ian is, in general, pronounced as schwa. This
> would cause what appears to be Canadian raising in the state's name,
> but that's only because the /i/ follows. The first /a/  in the word
> is also a schwa.
> In any case, I don't know anything about the presence or absence of
> Can. raising in the various regional manifestations of AAE.
> Dr. Johanna Rubba, Ph. D.
> Professor, Linguistics
> Linguistics Minor Advisor
> English Dept.
> Cal Poly State University San Luis Obispo
> San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
> Ofc. tel. : 805-756-2184
> Dept. tel.: 805-756-2596
> Dept. fax: 805-756-6374
> E-mail: jrubba at calpoly.edu
> URL: http://cla.calpoly.edu/~jrubba

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