tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Wed Feb 06 17:40:01 2002

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Re: Alphabet

lab marqoS:

>On Wed, Feb 06, 2002 at 03:26:03AM -0500, qurgh lungqIj wrote:
> > Your like me. Your British, so you say John/Jon with an "o" sound as in
> > "October" or "octopus".
>Assuming you mean the *first* O in "October" and "octopus", then
>so do I, and so do most Americans.  But we don't say "October" or
>"octopus" the same way you do, either. :)
>In many American dialects, mine included, there is no distinction
>between the "short o" sound (in Bob, John, cot, dog, etc.)  and the
>"ah" sound in "father";  [...]

This is all very interesting.

Maybe now I can explain what is going on when Americans cannot hear the 
difference between my poS and puS, even though I pronounce the o in poS as 
I pronounce the o in mosaic and the u as the u in prune.  I am Canadian. It 
appears that the Canadian o is a shade closer to the u than the American o, 
and that it crosses a boundary into what Americans consider to be u 

I suspect it is related to the fact that Canadians do not hear much 
difference in the ou sound in the Canadian and American pronunciation of 
about -- usually the American ou is longer and has a bit of a w on the end, 
but it doesn't sound significant to us -- but the Americans find the 
Canadian pronunciation so odd that they insist we are saying a-boot.  To a 
Canadian ear the mimicked "a-boot" is much further from the way we say 
about, than is the American abouwt.

The oo sound in the American mimicked a-boot is the same sound as u in 
prune, or puS. The ou sound in my about is closer to u than the sound I use 
for mosaic or poS.  So to me my poS is quite clearly distinguished from puS.

Do any Americans have difficulty distinguishing the vowel sounds in boat 
and boot, float and flute, mote and moot.  They are the same sounds as poS 
and puS for me, I think.  I was going to say rote and root, but I remember 
that Americans say root to rhyme with foot and soot.

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