The duration of /ae/ and /ai/

Benjamin Lukoff blukoff at ALVORD.COM
Fri Jan 25 01:51:15 UTC 2008

On Thu, 24 Jan 2008, James Harbeck wrote:

> 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?

This happened to me a number of times in my undergraduate Russian classes,
where my teacher was absolutely convinced that "one carried him out" was
the proper translation for the construction much more naturally translated
as "he was carried out" or "they carried him out." She had also never ever
heard of the variant (British, no?) spelling of "no one" as "no-one," and
had the hardest time believing the forms she learned weren't the ones
native speakers used.

Mostly, though, she was a great teacher, and this only happened with a few
constructions. But she sure was stubborn!

The American Dialect Society -

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