more vowel weirdness

Donald M. Lance LanceDM at MISSOURI.EDU
Fri Nov 3 04:46:39 UTC 2000

I haven't seen the series, so I can't comment on any connection to Missouri.  I've heard
the "sort of fronted" onset in the articulation of /o/ in a variety of regional
pronunciations, including some people in Missouri.  Often it strikes me as a pseudo-formal
or pseudo-sophisticated pronunciation, but for some people it's the usual pronunciation,
including a friend (female) from West Virginia, born about 1927.   This pronunciation is
rather strong in her speech, and her husband uses it frequently, particularly in a formal
register.  But I haven't had the patience to do any systematic collection of data on this

Laurence Horn wrote:

> For anyone who watches "The West Wing", or more specifically the last
> two episodes, including last night's--are the /o/s of the new cast
> addition, Ainsley the Republican lawyer, an affectation or a regional
> trait, and if the latter, which region?  They're sort of fronted at
> the first part of the diphthong, but there's something else going on.
> I thought it might be a certain kind of private school education
> feature, but a friend thought maybe Missouri.
> larry

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