Provenance of /Or/ > [ar] / __@ ?

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Sat Nov 17 02:24:00 UTC 2012

I'm sure this has been analyzed somewhere at some point, but I don't know where.
What is the dialect that has /O/ lowering to [a] in a stressed vowel preceding
/r/ and an unstressed vowel? In other words, the dialect that pronounces
"forest" as "farrest," "Florida" as "Flarrida", "Oregon" as "Ahregun,"
"horrible" etc. as "harrible" etc., "authority" as "autharity", but still has
[O] in "fort", "lore," etc.? What is this realization called?

I've been vaguely aware of it for many years, but have begun to notice it more,
especially among certain NPR speakers. I even heard one guy on Planet Money talk
about a "flarrist" (florist), which is right in line with the phonetic
environment I described, but was still a new pronunciation to me.


The American Dialect Society -

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