Christophe Grandsire wrote:

> It was always marked by ā (a-circonflexe) like in "pātes" /pAt/: pasta, as
> opposed to "pattes" /pat/: legs (of an animal). The opposition has now
> disappeared. I think it's normal that in your L2 pronunciation of French, you
> have both [9~] and [E~], but no [A]. As I said, the distinction between [a] and
> [A] have vanished earlier than the one between [9~] and [E~] (which is still not
> complete, as there are still people like me who oscillate between the two phones
> when [9~] was supposed to be the correct one - but nobody ever says [9~] when
> originally it must be [E~], the confusion seems to go only in one direction).

I haven't used my French in a long time, but I do read "pātes" as /pat/,
as a homonym to "pattes".

I'd imagine I wouldn't notice if someone was using [9~] or [E~] where
I'd use the other possibility, but then again I haven't spoken to an L1
French speaker in a good 3 or 4 years.