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Steg Belsky wrote:
> I just remembered....also in my dialect it's somewhat differentiated, {I}
> is /aj/, but contractions such as {i'm} and {i'll} lose the /j/, being
> usually pronounced as /am/ and /al/.  So maybe {i'll} could lead to /a/,
> distinguised from /e/ ?

Interesting.  Is that a common phenomenon?  Comments from elsewhere?  Of
course, considering the small initial population of East Landing (c.
800-1000), it's conceivable that even a relatively uncommon
pronunciation could dominate the colony.  Perhaps some early leaders
happened to use that pronunciation, and their influence caused it to
spread ...?

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