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David Peterson wrote:
>     First of all, I want to clear something up: I can distinguist [e] and [E]
> AND [o] and [O].  I just thought it would be easier to see how [e] and [E]
> could be mixed up--they're interchangeable in soooo many languages (Hawaiian,
> Spanish...).

Spanish also uses [o] and [O] as allophones of /o/.  I don't know about
Hawaiian.

>     But anyway, even though I've never had [O] in my dialect, [o] and [O]
> have always been night and day to me.  It's [O] and [A] that I find
> confusing

Same here.  [O] sounds like [A] to me (of course, my dialect merges
those two sounds, "cot" and "caught" are homophones).  Just like [E]
sounds closer to [&] then to [e] to me.  Presumably, if I didn't have
that distinction, I'd hear [E] as [&].

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