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TM = Tristan McLeay
MJR = Mark J. Reed
JMW = J. 'Mach' Wust
BP = Bryan Parry

TM> American English seems to have some sort of issue with short O vs
TM> AW,

MJR> Not sure what you mean by that.

JMW> I guess he's referring to the well-known 'cot-caught-merger' which
JMW> is common in many areas of the USA.

They are certainly merged in my 'lect.   Not sure how that's an "issue",
though. :)

MJR> WARNING!  YAEPT BEGINNING!

MJR> I have four sounds in the range under discussion, best represented in
MJR> English fauxnetics by "ah", "aw", "or", "oh".   Note that to my ear,
MJR> this sequences represents a linear progression in sound; "aw" is
MJR> between "ah" and "or" etc.

MJR> 1. "ah" This occurs in "father", "water", etc, but also in the words
MJR> marked in my dictionary as possessing of a "short o" sound: Bob, cot,
MJR> dog, fog, got, etc.

BP> One problem si that in RP- my accent- the vowels in
BP> "bob" and "father" are not the same at all.

That's a difference, not a problem. :) I'm well aware of it, which is why I
explicitly mentioned the "short o" words as having the "ah" sound in my
'lect.  And that's why this is, as I warned, YAEPT (Yet Another English
Pronunciation Thread).


TM> If as you seem to imply you always have the same quality for a O
TM> before an R

I'm reluctant to say "always" about anything, but all the "or"s I can
think of sound alike.  That certainly includes your "oratory" and
"chlorine".

TM> then that's probably the cause of the issue, but it's not something
TM> terribly easy to quantify.

TM> And I thought Americans who distinguished O and AW pronounced Dog as
TM> DAWG, but that might be limited to *some* Americans.

The "dawg" pronunciation is an exaggerated example of the "Southern
drawl", and I wouldn't say it is in general related to whether or not O
and AW are distinguished.   Which, btw, they *aren't* in my dialect,
really; I'd say they're allophonic variants of the same sound.  For
instance, the words "call" and "doll" are exact rhymes, both having the
"aw" sound, while "cot" and "caught" are exact homophones, both having
the "ah" sound.

-Marcos