On Feb 22, 2:30 am, "Peter T. Daniels" <gramma...@verizon.net
> On Feb 21, 7:34 am, Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com
> > On 2012-02-20, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> > > On Feb 20, 8:49 am, Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com
> > >> On 2012-02-09, Nathan Sanders wrote:
> > >> > This sounds familiar; I think we did discuss it before, and it was the
> > >> > first time I"d ever heard of the /A/ pronunciation.
> > >> The OED has "hover" both ways, with the POT-vowel pronunciation first:
> > >> cover /ˈkʌvə(r)/
> > >> Second edition, 1989; online version December 2011
> > >> lover Brit. /ˈlʌvə/ , U.S. /ˈləvər/
> > >> Third edition, March 2008; online version December 2011
> > > What do you suppose they mean by the shwa in the first syllable?
> > TBH, I'm not sure (see below for their key for /ə/), but they also
> > have it for love: Brit. /lʌv/, U.S. /ləv/.
> That would be fine -- if they also used it for hover and cover.
> Because they are indicating /phonemes/, not [pronunciations].
I've been trying to find time to comment on this in the light of what
I've learned about the OED system from an examination of the Preface
to "The Oxford Dictionary of Pronunciation for Current English", by
Clive Upton, William A.Kretzschmar, Jr & Rafal Konopka (OUP 2001). You
may recall that my OED contact cited the first two as authors of the
new system and referred me to this dictionary (or something very much
like it) for a fuller account.
They give parallel descriptions of "BR" and "AM", each based on a kind
of consensus variety, maximally widely used and widely understood.
They don't seem to refer to any actual empirical basis for either, so
for all one can tell the pronunciations could have been arrived at by
purely impressionistic or introspective methods.
They very clearly state that their transcriptions are "broadly
phonetic"..."A limited symbol set results in broad transcriptions, and
may suggest de facto phonemicization to some readers, but our
intention is always to indicate actual sounds to be produced." (p.x)
Thus the fact that OED Online places the transcriptions between slant
lines is at least seriously misleading.
It also follows that when they systematically transcribe the STRUT
vowel with inverted-v in BR and schwa in AM, they really must intend a
different phonetic value.
"As a stressed vowel, /ə/ includes pronunciations written with [ʌ] by
some American linguists, e.g. sun [sʌn], here transcribed [sən]; use
of /ʌ/ in BR represents a more retracted and somewhat lowered
sound." (p.xvi) Again the empirical basis for such distinctions is not
That will have to do for now. I'm already hearing people asking "Where
did the slant lines come from?" I don't know. I'll have to read it
again when I have time.