Roger: > John Cowan wrote: > > > >No, Tristan is perfectly correct: "heart" and "hut" are [ha:t] and [hat]. > >Australian English has no low back vowels at all, and the length of [a] > >is phonemicized. (This on Nick Nicholas's authority.) > > > Accepted. That would appear true for Aust., in isolation. The question > would then be, is the length _always_ a subsitute for a lost /r/ in the env. > V__C, where it could indeed be lost irretrievably. If so, that would > suggest /r/ or at least "something" is still there underlyingly. Or has > Aust. phonemicized length in other, non-r, environments? That would be > interesting. Length per se is not phonemicized in any Eng accent I can think of offhand. It just happens that as the realizations of short and long vowel phonemes go about their motions, realizations contrasting in length but not quality sometimes arise. I can think of no decent reason for thinking that historical nononset /r/ is present underlyingly in nonrhotic accents. As for the (immaterial, I think) question "has > Aust. phonemicized length in other, non-r, environments?", try _foot:fought_. --And.