/or/ distinctions and more

Sallie Lemons Sallie.Lemons at MSDW.COM
Thu Apr 13 14:36:42 UTC 2000

As a New Yorker (with midwestern influence), I distinguish between cot and
caught. Horse and hoarse, and witch and which are homophones. I distinguish
Mary, marry, and merry--if that means anything..

Laurence Horn wrote:

> If a northeasterner's perspective is of interest, HORSE and HOARSE are
> homophones for me (and for most northeastern students in our dialects
> class) but COT and CAUGHT are sharply distinguished.  I suspect that the
> voiceless WH is on its way out--as a New Yorker, I never distinguished
> 'which' and 'witch' except metalinguistically to disambiguate them--but it
> survives in pockets up here.  My wife, who grew up in Connecticut half a
> century ago, retains the distinction, but our kids, who are currently
> growing up in Connecticut, don't.
> larry
> At 8:50 AM -0400 4/13/00, Bethany K. Dumas wrote:
> >On Thu, 13 Apr 2000, Natalie Maynor wrote:
> >>> Earlier somoene suggested that I am the last living speaker who
> >>> distinguishes horse - hoarse. I also distinguish cot - caught etc.

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