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

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Nov 17 17:49:32 UTC 2012

At 11/17/2012 01:36 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>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,

Me too.

>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.

Except my vacillations and shifts are different from
Larry's.  (Perhaps because he stayed close, in New Haven, while I
moved further (farther?), to Boston.)  For example, I'm sure I seldom
say "florist" but mostly "flarrist".  But I say "floral", not "flarral".


> > 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 -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list