Mark Reed wrote: > On Thu, Apr 15, 2004 at 08:14:34AM -0400, John Cowan wrote: > > The familiar > > Not to me. :) Me neither....... > > > Wells lexical sets for vowels (KIT, DRESS, TRAP, LOT, STRUT, BATH, > > CLOTH, NURSE, FLEECE, FACE, PALM, THOUGHT, GOAT, GOOSE, PRICE, CHOICE, > > MOUTH, NEAR, SQUARE, START, NORTH, FORCE, CURE, and the weak vowels > > HAPPY, LETTER, and COMMA) make 27 distinctions, > > I only count 26 . . . Someone left out /U/ put, book, took, rook, boog(er) etc. >...my 'lect seems to have relatively few distinctions at 16: > I'm not dissimilar, but merge LOT/PALM/START and CLOTH/THOUGHT. In toto I get 19, but four are due to neutralization before /r/-- the vowel of NEAR is neither [i] nor [I] but in between, though phonemically probably /I/; same for square /E/?, north/force /O/?, cure /U/?. And the "weak vowels" of Happy, Letter and Comma differ from Fleece, Nurse and Strut only in lack of stress. I seem to recall a lengthy YAEPT --among many others :-( -- concerning the quality of vowels preceding /N/ too.