The duration of /ae/ and /ai/

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Fri Jan 25 01:42:55 UTC 2008

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

Ha ha! The fervor of the convert! I've had this experience, too --
having people who learned English in the past few years "correct" me
on my English. That generally doesn't get very far, since I'm an
experienced editor and make my money knowing about the "rules" of
English (yeah, yeah, I know), have the test scores etc. and can
easily prove I know the language better than they do, but I do
remember when I took my general intro linguistics course (which was
only a few years ago) that the professor was from somewhere in Latin
America and educated someplace nice like MIT and was really skeptical
about my assurance that [hawzIz] was a common pronunciation of the
plural of "house" -- she had used [hawsIz] in an example, a version I
also hear but which is not the only one. Of course, she's a PhD in
linguistics and I'm just a lowly student, right?

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society -

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