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On 4/21/07, David J. Peterson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> This is not so much directly related, but what about words that
> end in [A] in English?  Words like:
>
> law
> saw
> draw

In my 'lect, these are /lO/, /sO/, etc.  Or maybe
/lO:/ or /lOw/.

.....
> if someone wanted to talk about someone who was sawing,
> they'd probably say "sawer", but, at least in my case, would do
> so reluctantly or uncomfortably.  If "drawer" came from "draw",
> it's seems like the resolution was to radically change the pronunciation
> (/drOr/).  And I don't know if this is a symptom of the same

Maybe, but with me the person who draws would more likely be
/'drO:.r\/.  And I think the unit of a chest of drawers
is /dror/ rather than /drOr/ in my 'lect.

> Is this just an unfortunate circumstance that had a resolution
> which has long since been forgotten, and is, perhaps, seeking
> a new solution?  Does anyone else have purely a vowel length
> distinction between these two?
>
> car
> cawer (one who caws)

/kAr/ and /'kO:.r\/ respectively, in my 'lect.

-- 
Jim Henry
http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry