Hockey

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Sat May 19 20:39:26 UTC 2007


>southern Ohio has (roughly) the same kind of merger found in eastern
>Canada, where the merger is toward 'caught'.  It's not fully open o
>(=backward C) though but rather midway between /a/ (short o) and open
>o--described in some circles as "turned script a."  Hence I hear "hockey"
>as close to, but not identical with, "hawkey" all the time in this part of
>Ohio.

Hm. Up here in the northern wastelands, it's
usually more like ordinary script a, not turned
script a. That's even what's taught in
linguistics courses in universities here, at
least the ones I'm aware of, when Canadian
English is described. The more forward [a] only
occurs before i and r in this dialect, by the
way, and I'm sometimes hearing that now as the
script a too. (There is a slight but perceptible
vowel shift in many younger speakers around here,
especially females, I think, going in the
down-and-back direction, so, for instance, [tEst]
is halfway to [t├Žst] for many of these speakers.)

And my general experience of Canadian speech is
that there's no real distinction between "hawkey"
and "hockey" -- that, for instance, a person
could not tell without context whether another
were saying "He's hawking it" or "He's hocking
it." I do think many Canadians _think_ they're
making a distinction between those two, but they
also often think they're making a distinction
between "right" and "write" when none such is
audible.

James Harbeck.

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