Ash-tensing in *ANAE* (was: The duration of /ae/ and /ai/)

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Thu Jan 24 14:53:43 UTC 2008

From:    Damien Hall <halldj at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>

> No, they didn't ignore that.  As far as I'm aware, none of Labov's work on the
> quality of any vowel analyses unstressed tokens, for that very reason.  For
> this particular case, I've actually written (under his direction) formal tests
> to measure ash-tensing in that very word, and the approved sentences were as
> follows:

> - It's very difficult to get a good cheesesteak, but at _________ you can.
> - These days, Coke cans are made of __________.

> So, stressed tokens of *can* (n.) and *can* (v.).

How did you make sure that the final verb was stressed? It took me a
couple readings to realize that you can say the first sentence without
heavy stress on the blank, with stress trailing off after that. (You
know, "...but at *Pat's* you can.")

Or is north of Baltimore (your subjects) that different from south of
Baltimore (me) even in prosodic sorts of things?


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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