which would take longer to say /ae/ or /ai/

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Mon Jan 21 04:13:57 UTC 2008

I would think that in those dialects where the I
in /aI/ is elided, the tendency would be to
lengthen it in order to preserve distinctiveness
(those who are more used to Southern US speech
can comment on whether this seems actually to be
the case). I don't have the current issue of AD
(this reminds me: I need to go do some business
at the ADS website) -- is there an indication of
the sample base? It would be useful to break it
out by rendering of the diphthong, or at least

Is any suggestion made in the article to account
for the relative times -- tongue movement time,
for instance, or typical context, or need for
distinction (in some Northern dialects now the
area around [æ] is getting crowded, I think)?

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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