The duration of /ae/ and /ai/

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Thu Jan 24 14:50:54 UTC 2008

From:    LanDi Liu <strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM>
> On Jan 23, 2008 10:48 PM, David Bowie <db.list at> wrote:

>> p.s. I never use ash in the verb can, stressed or not. (Stressed can i
>> pronounce [kEn] or, when i'm really relaxed, [kIn].) I was once flat-out
>> told by a linguist who should have known better that i was lying when i
>> said that. It's my second-favorite bizarre wrong thing i was told by my
>> linguistics teachers.

> What about the noun "can"?

A very clear ash, diphthongized since it's pre-nasal.

I.e., the noun 'can' and the verb 'can' are completely non-homophonous
for me.

> And what's the first-favorite?

It's actually a semi-long story with lots of background, but it
culminated in me being told that i wasn't allowed to give any more
native speaker judgments on English grammar in a syntax class, since I
was clearly unable to give correct native speaker judgments properly.

(There were lots of things that led up to it, but the straw that broke
the camel's back was, IIRC, my acceptance of "for to" as a complementizer.)

The kicker? It was a non-native speaker of English who put me under that

David Bowie                               University of Central Florida
     Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
     house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
     chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

The American Dialect Society -

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