On Oct 18, 2004, at 7:46 AM, Roger Mills wrote:
>>>>Those dialects that distinguish the vowels of _Mary, marry, merry_
>>>>may be able to assign the phoneme differently, provided a derivative
>>>>form exists where the non-neutralized variant shows up.

Steg Belsky replied:
>>>Some of us have a different problem :-)
>>>"Mary" /me:r\i/ = [me@r\i]
>>>"grass" /gr\&s/ = [gr\e@s]

John Cowan asked:
>>Jeepers creepers, am I the only one left who says [mer\i], [m&r\i],
>>[mEr\i], and [gr&s], the way God intended?  Eheu, fugaces!  :-)

On Mon, 18 Oct 2004 17:02:42 +0100, Joe <[log in to unmask]> answered:
>Well, the only American, perhaps.  I have the same as you, except with
>[mE:r\i] instead of [mer\i].

I was taught roughly the same.

I've always been wondering if there are varieties where the distinction of
_Mary, merry, marry_ is preserved if the /r/ is not followed by a vowel?
I've always been assuming that it'd dissapear in that case in any variety of
English, but I know this kind of assumptions is very weak.

j. 'mach' wust