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

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Nov 17 06:36:30 UTC 2012

On Nov 16, 2012, at 6:24 PM, Neal Whitman wrote:

> 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?

It's what I grew up with in NYC, although I've shifted over to [O] most of the time for these; I suspect I go back and forth (on "Florida", "orange", "forest") even though I think of myself as an open-o employer for these (the first group, that is; I've never varied on [O] for "fort" or "lore").  I think of "AH-rinj" as the locus classicus, but as I recall it was getting mocked for my [a] in "corridor" as a freshman in Rochester that led to my abandoning my native vowels in this frame.  I'm sure I never say "flarrist", but I probably did before the fall of 1961.


> 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.
> Neal
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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