Can hover rhyme with cover and lover

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Ruud Harmsen

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Feb 9, 2012, 12:31:46 PM2/9/12
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According to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hover , in
American English that word can have the vowel of words like cover and
lover.
British dictionaries say it can only be like spot, hot, dot etc.

Is that really true?

(We may have discussed this before here, but I don't know in what
context.)

(I ask for my Dutch article http://rudhar.com/fonetics/hovrkrft.htm .
In Dutch, hovercraft is often pronounced as if written hoovercraft.)
--
Ruud Harmsen,
http://rudhar.com/new

António Marques

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Feb 9, 2012, 12:58:46 PM2/9/12
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Ruud Harmsen wrote (09-02-2012 17:31):
> According to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hover , in
> American English that word can have the vowel of words like cover and
> lover.

I've heard it like that.

> British dictionaries say it can only be like spot, hot, dot etc.

I've heard it like that.

Christopher Ingham

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Feb 9, 2012, 1:27:49 PM2/9/12
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On Feb 9, 12:31 pm, Ruud Harmsen <r...@rudhar.com> wrote:
> According tohttp://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hover, in
> American English that word can have the vowel of words like cover and
> lover.
> British dictionaries say it can only be like spot, hot, dot etc.
>
> Is that really true?
>
Webster’s Collegiate 11th ed. (AmE) has it pronounced as in “cover”
and “spot,” in that order.

OED (BrE?) has it pronounced as in “spot” and “cover,” in that order.

Christopher Ingham

Nathan Sanders

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Feb 9, 2012, 1:29:37 PM2/9/12
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In article <ih08j79oqig1ecpit...@4ax.com>,
Ruud Harmsen <r...@rudhar.com> wrote:

> According to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hover , in
> American English that word can have the vowel of words like cover and
> lover.

Definitely. I'd probably even go as far to say that it's the majority
pronunciation in the US. I've lived in five different dialect regions
(deep South, eastern and western New England, northern California, and
Philadelphia), and I can't recall ever hearing "hover" with /A/.

> British dictionaries say it can only be like spot, hot, dot etc.
>
> Is that really true?
>
> (We may have discussed this before here, but I don't know in what
> context.)

This sounds familiar; I think we did discuss it before, and it was the
first time I"d ever heard of the /A/ pronunciation.

Nathan

--
Department of Linguistics
Swarthmore College
http://sanders.phonologist.org/

Adam Funk

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Feb 9, 2012, 2:59:40 PM2/9/12
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On 2012-02-09, Ruud Harmsen wrote:

> According to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hover , in
> American English that word can have the vowel of words like cover and
> lover.

AFAICT they rhyme for me.

> British dictionaries say it can only be like spot, hot, dot etc.
>
> Is that really true?
>
> (We may have discussed this before here, but I don't know in what
> context.)
>
> (I ask for my Dutch article http://rudhar.com/fonetics/hovrkrft.htm .
> In Dutch, hovercraft is often pronounced as if written hoovercraft.)

Is it full of eels?


--
The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to
chance. [Robert R. Coveyou]

Athel Cornish-Bowden

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Feb 9, 2012, 3:47:46 PM2/9/12
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On 2012-02-09 17:31:46 +0000, Ruud Harmsen said:

> According to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hover , in
> American English that word can have the vowel of words like cover and
> lover.
> British dictionaries say it can only be like spot, hot, dot etc.
>
> Is that really true?

In my experience that is true of British pronunciation: I've never
heard it rhyme with cover.
>
> (We may have discussed this before here, but I don't know in what
> context.)
>
> (I ask for my Dutch article http://rudhar.com/fonetics/hovrkrft.htm .
> In Dutch, hovercraft is often pronounced as if written hoovercraft.)


--
athel

pauljk

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Feb 9, 2012, 11:38:43 PM2/9/12
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"Athel Cornish-Bowden" <acor...@imm.cnrs.fr> wrote in message
news:9pipni...@mid.individual.net...
> On 2012-02-09 17:31:46 +0000, Ruud Harmsen said:
>
>> According to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hover , in
>> American English that word can have the vowel of words like cover and
>> lover.
>> British dictionaries say it can only be like spot, hot, dot etc.
>>
>> Is that really true?
>
> In my experience that is true of British pronunciation: I've never heard it rhyme
> with cover.

AFAICT, the same applies to downunder English.

pauljk

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Feb 9, 2012, 11:51:33 PM2/9/12
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"Nathan Sanders" <san...@alum.mit.edu> wrote in message
news:sanders-17B8F0...@d90-136-209-74.cust.tele2.de...
> In article <ih08j79oqig1ecpit...@4ax.com>,
> Ruud Harmsen <r...@rudhar.com> wrote:
>
>> According to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hover , in
>> American English that word can have the vowel of words like cover and
>> lover.
>
> Definitely. I'd probably even go as far to say that it's the majority
> pronunciation in the US. I've lived in five different dialect regions
> (deep South, eastern and western New England, northern California, and
> Philadelphia), and I can't recall ever hearing "hover" with /A/.

But when E.English dictionary says hover has vowel of words like
spot, hot, dot, it doesn't imply its /A/ like in AmEnglish, does it?

In my CED, hover refers to pot, botch, and sorry,
while hovel quotes cut, flood, rough, and son.

pjk


P.S.
Supplementary question re;
http://www.howjsay.com/index.php?word=hover&submit=Submit

Is the howjsay.com _supposed_ to be generally E or Am English?

Nathan Sanders

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Feb 10, 2012, 12:13:51 AM2/10/12
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In article <jh27p7$cfd$1...@dont-email.me>,
"pauljk" <paul....@xtra.co.nz> wrote:

> "Nathan Sanders" <san...@alum.mit.edu> wrote in message
> news:sanders-17B8F0...@d90-136-209-74.cust.tele2.de...
> > In article <ih08j79oqig1ecpit...@4ax.com>,
> > Ruud Harmsen <r...@rudhar.com> wrote:
> >
> >> According to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hover , in
> >> American English that word can have the vowel of words like cover and
> >> lover.
> >
> > Definitely. I'd probably even go as far to say that it's the majority
> > pronunciation in the US. I've lived in five different dialect regions
> > (deep South, eastern and western New England, northern California, and
> > Philadelphia), and I can't recall ever hearing "hover" with /A/.
>
> But when E.English dictionary says hover has vowel of words like
> spot, hot, dot, it doesn't imply its /A/ like in AmEnglish, does it?

/A/ is one of the usual transcriptions of the AmE vowel in
spot/hot/dot, the LOT vowel:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_RSOXNV65lN0/S2a13vcLBAI/AAAAAAAAAYg/RQo2sbM7c
qM/s1600-h/sets.jpg

> In my CED, hover refers to pot, botch, and sorry,
> while hovel quotes cut, flood, rough, and son.

In AmE, cut/flood/rough/son are the STRUT vowel, /^/.

I say "hovel" with LOT, not STRUT, but Merriam-Webster recognizes both.

> Supplementary question re;
> http://www.howjsay.com/index.php?word=hover&submit=Submit
>
> Is the howjsay.com _supposed_ to be generally E or Am English?

I never heard of the website before, but it sounds British to me.
Message has been deleted

Ruud Harmsen

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Feb 10, 2012, 3:07:45 AM2/10/12
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Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com> schreef/wrote:

>> (I ask for my Dutch article http://rudhar.com/fonetics/hovrkrft.htm .
>> In Dutch, hovercraft is often pronounced as if written hoovercraft.)
>
>Is it full of eels?

No doubt.

And blowing the snow off the ice, so it thickens faster. That was the
idea, but it never materialised.

António Marques

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Feb 10, 2012, 6:15:20 AM2/10/12
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pauljk wrote (10-02-2012 04:51):
>
> "Nathan Sanders" <san...@alum.mit.edu> wrote in message
> news:sanders-17B8F0...@d90-136-209-74.cust.tele2.de...
>> In article <ih08j79oqig1ecpit...@4ax.com>,
>> Ruud Harmsen <r...@rudhar.com> wrote:
>>
>>> According to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hover , in
>>> American English that word can have the vowel of words like cover and
>>> lover.
>>
>> Definitely. I'd probably even go as far to say that it's the majority
>> pronunciation in the US. I've lived in five different dialect regions
>> (deep South, eastern and western New England, northern California, and
>> Philadelphia), and I can't recall ever hearing "hover" with /A/.
>
> But when E.English dictionary says hover has vowel of words like
> spot, hot, dot, it doesn't imply its /A/ like in AmEnglish, does it?

I think I've heard [A] and [O] but I'm not competent to say.
David Tibet likes that word a lot. I don't know anything about his origins,
but he's been living in London since very long:

? 1:35 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiSn7oRNI2Q
1991 4:20 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWxly5a2scg
1991 3:44 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRAcojKrXdY
1999 1:11 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgoEK5-7YLc

pauljk

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Feb 10, 2012, 9:44:13 AM2/10/12
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"Wolfgang Schwanke" <s...@sig.nature> wrote in message
news:p8te09-...@wschwanke.de...
> Ruud Harmsen <r...@rudhar.com> wrote
> in news:ih08j79oqig1ecpit...@4ax.com:
>
>> In Dutch, hovercraft is often pronounced as if written hoovercraft.)
>
> This would be a hoovercraft:
>
> http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/pju/lowres/pjun785l.jpg

Warm protective clothing - check
Safety helmet on - check
Goggles - failing to wear!
Vehicle registration number - not visible!
Annual licence sticker - failing to display!
To all district PCs: Stop and apprehend at the nearest opportunity!

pjk


ranjit_...@yahoo.com

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Feb 10, 2012, 12:50:39 PM2/10/12
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On Feb 9, 12:31 pm, Ruud Harmsen <r...@rudhar.com> wrote:
> According tohttp://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hover, in
> American English that word can have the vowel of words like cover and
> lover.
> British dictionaries say it can only be like spot, hot, dot etc.
>
> Is that really true?
>
> (We may have discussed this before here, but I don't know in what
> context.)
>
> (I ask for my Dutch articlehttp://rudhar.com/fonetics/hovrkrft.htm.
> In Dutch, hovercraft is often pronounced as if written hoovercraft.)

Do you mean "as if it were a Dutch word written hoovercraft"?

If you mean "as if it were an English word written hoovercraft", then
it would presumably be pronounced as if it were a Dutch word written
huvercraft.
> --
> Ruud Harmsen,http://rudhar.com/new

Peter T. Daniels

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Feb 10, 2012, 5:44:11 PM2/10/12
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On Feb 10, 12:50 pm, "ranjit_math...@yahoo.com"
Just a few minutes ago, I came across a poem by Sidney Lanier (of
Macon, Georgia), written in 1868, that rhymes hover, lover, and cover.
(It's the song "May the maiden" -- about the month of May.)

ranjit_...@yahoo.com

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Feb 10, 2012, 7:22:36 PM2/10/12
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Thanks!

Joachim Pense

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Feb 11, 2012, 3:51:16 AM2/11/12
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Many (I'd say most) Germans say "hoovercraft" and many probably
erroneously write it with double o. They don't seem to care about the
direction of the airflow.

Joachim
Message has been deleted

Peter T. Daniels

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Feb 11, 2012, 7:48:49 AM2/11/12
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On Feb 11, 4:46 am, Wolfgang Schwanke <s...@sig.nature> wrote:
> Joachim Pense <s...@pense-mainz.eu> wrote
> innews:9pmog5...@mid.individual.net:
>
> > Many (I'd say most) Germans say "hoovercraft" and many probably
> > erroneously write it with double o. They don't seem to care about the
> > direction of the airflow.
>
> I should think "Luftkissenboot" (lit. "air cushion boat") is more
> widespread. German speakers like to be explicit with their technical
> words, same in "Staubsauger", the German word vor hoover, which is
> literally "dust sucker".

The American word for "hoover" is "vacuum cleaner."


> Along the same line "Fernseher" ("far seer")
> for television and "Hubschrauber" ("lift screwer") for helicopter.

pauljk

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Feb 11, 2012, 9:17:40 AM2/11/12
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"Peter T. Daniels" <gram...@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:ec0a363e-17a9-4565...@l1g2000vbc.googlegroups.com...
> On Feb 11, 4:46 am, Wolfgang Schwanke <s...@sig.nature> wrote:
>> Joachim Pense <s...@pense-mainz.eu> wrote
>> innews:9pmog5...@mid.individual.net:
>>
>> > Many (I'd say most) Germans say "hoovercraft" and many probably
>> > erroneously write it with double o. They don't seem to care about the
>> > direction of the airflow.
>>
>> I should think "Luftkissenboot" (lit. "air cushion boat") is more
>> widespread. German speakers like to be explicit with their technical
>> words, same in "Staubsauger", the German word vor hoover, which is
>> literally "dust sucker".
>
> The American word for "hoover" is "vacuum cleaner."

Often people call them just "vacuum".

It's my pet peeve, people calling vacuum cleaners vacuums,
cell phones cells, and transistor radios transistors.

The transistor used to annoy me because I couldn't understand
why wouldn't people call it a radio at the time when portable
valve radios were long since gone a buried. Well, it's not an issue
anymore, now in the 21st century you hardly ever come across
anybody who'd carry anything that could be refer to as
a transistor radio. :-)

pjk

Joachim Pense

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Feb 11, 2012, 10:59:44 AM2/11/12
to
Am 11.02.2012 15:17, schrieb pauljk:
> "Peter T. Daniels" <gram...@verizon.net> wrote in message
>>
>> The American word for "hoover" is "vacuum cleaner."
>
> Often people call them just "vacuum".
>

I think I also saw/heard "vac".

Joachim

Adam Funk

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Feb 11, 2012, 3:00:35 PM2/11/12
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Especially in "wet or dry vac" or "wet/dry vac".


--
XML is like violence: if it doesn't solve the problem,
use more.

António Marques

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Feb 11, 2012, 4:09:50 PM2/11/12
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On Feb 11, 2:17 pm, "pauljk" <paul.kr...@xtra.co.nz> wrote:
> "Peter T. Daniels" <gramma...@verizon.net> wrote in messagenews:ec0a363e-17a9-4565...@l1g2000vbc.googlegroups.com...
Mph. Around here, kids now carry 'mp3's. Unless they're trendy, in
which case they'll carry 'mp4's.

Peter T. Daniels

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Feb 11, 2012, 7:08:16 PM2/11/12
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I think over here they're iPods (whoever manufactured them). Aren't
mp4's videos?

António Marques

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Feb 11, 2012, 8:00:37 PM2/11/12
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MP3 stood for MPEG 1, Layer 3 (iinm, audio layer of the version 1 of
the Moving Pictures Experts Group's standard) - so, the 'encoding'
used for an audio stream of a movie file, but it could be used by
itself, without a video. It then started designating the thing used to
play those files. Then it started designating any portable audio file
player. Then an octogenarian who was President twice (from '86 to '96)
decided to run again in '06, and to look 'young' named his campaign
'MP3' - supposedly, 'Mário Presidente 3'. An utter joke.

MP4 stands for MPEG 4. Again iinm, it specifies many audio and video
possibilities to make up the movie. Apple at least uses .m4a for files
that contain only audio. I've seen .mp4 used for complete movies, but
at this point file extensions are not as important as they used to be.
But of course the guys who do marketing for kids here could not let it
pass - they noticed there were files around with an .mp4 extension, so
they decided newer portable audio players would not be 'MP3's any
longer, but 'MP4's. 'iPod' isn't used generically here, and Apple
wouldn't hear of having even video iPods marketed as 'MP4's.

Peter T. Daniels

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Feb 11, 2012, 7:07:01 PM2/11/12
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On Feb 11, 9:17 am, "pauljk" <paul.kr...@xtra.co.nz> wrote:
> "Peter T. Daniels" <gramma...@verizon.net> wrote in messagenews:ec0a363e-17a9-4565...@l1g2000vbc.googlegroups.com...
>
> > On Feb 11, 4:46 am, Wolfgang Schwanke <s...@sig.nature> wrote:
> >> Joachim Pense <s...@pense-mainz.eu> wrote
> >> innews:9pmog5...@mid.individual.net:
>
> >> > Many (I'd say most) Germans say "hoovercraft" and many probably
> >> > erroneously write it with double o. They don't seem to care about the
> >> > direction of the airflow.
>
> >> I should think "Luftkissenboot" (lit. "air cushion boat") is more
> >> widespread. German speakers like to be explicit with their technical
> >> words, same in "Staubsauger", the German word vor hoover, which is
> >> literally "dust sucker".
>
> > The American word for "hoover" is "vacuum cleaner."
>
> Often people call them just "vacuum".
>
> It's my pet peeve, people calling vacuum cleaners vacuums,
> cell phones cells, and transistor radios transistors.

OTOH, a "machine" was an answering machine.

And people still input PIN numbers into ATM machines.

> The transistor used to annoy me because I couldn't understand
> why wouldn't people call it a radio at the time when portable
> valve radios were long since gone a buried. Well, it's not an issue
> anymore, now in the 21st century you hardly ever come across
> anybody who'd carry anything that could be refer to as
> a transistor radio.  :-)

When we were emptying my mother's apartment, we came across a
"portable valve [i.e. tube' radio." I t was powered by something
called, apparently, a B cell, which wasn't intermediate between AAA,
AA, C, And D cells, which are different-size cylinders, but almost a
cube several inches on a side.

pauljk

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Feb 11, 2012, 11:46:13 PM2/11/12
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"Peter T. Daniels" <gram...@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:8146f7db-c6c7-4681...@gi10g2000vbb.googlegroups.com...
> On Feb 11, 9:17 am, "pauljk" <paul.kr...@xtra.co.nz> wrote:
>> "Peter T. Daniels" <gramma...@verizon.net> wrote in
>> messagenews:ec0a363e-17a9-4565...@l1g2000vbc.googlegroups.com...
>>
>> > On Feb 11, 4:46 am, Wolfgang Schwanke <s...@sig.nature> wrote:
>> >> Joachim Pense <s...@pense-mainz.eu> wrote
>> >> innews:9pmog5...@mid.individual.net:
>>
>> >> > Many (I'd say most) Germans say "hoovercraft" and many probably
>> >> > erroneously write it with double o. They don't seem to care about the
>> >> > direction of the airflow.
>>
>> >> I should think "Luftkissenboot" (lit. "air cushion boat") is more
>> >> widespread. German speakers like to be explicit with their technical
>> >> words, same in "Staubsauger", the German word vor hoover, which is
>> >> literally "dust sucker".
>>
>> > The American word for "hoover" is "vacuum cleaner."
>>
>> Often people call them just "vacuum".
>>
>> It's my pet peeve, people calling vacuum cleaners vacuums,
>> cell phones cells, and transistor radios transistors.
>
> OTOH, a "machine" was an answering machine.

The same here.
Aren't we lucky they didn't start calling them "answers".

("John, please ring me with an answer to this problem tonight,
if I don't pick up, leave your answer in/with my answer." :-)

> And people still input PIN numbers into ATM machines.

These don't worry me much at all. I see "PIN", "ATM", "CSN",
"FIN", etc. as free standing names. If somebody talked about
his "pee aye number" or "personal aye en" I wouldn't immediately
realise what he is talking about.

These days people don't talk much about ATMs. The monstrously
expensive machines are beginning to disappear, I haven't used
one in years. If I need any cash (usually just coins for the parking
meters) I get it in a supermarket with my shopping, ATMs don't
usually give out coins anyway.

>> The transistor used to annoy me because I couldn't understand
>> why wouldn't people call it a radio at the time when portable
>> valve radios were long since gone a buried. Well, it's not an issue
>> anymore, now in the 21st century you hardly ever come across
>> anybody who'd carry anything that could be refer to as
>> a transistor radio. :-)
>
> When we were emptying my mother's apartment, we came across a
> "portable valve [i.e. tube' radio." I t was powered by something
> called, apparently, a B cell, which wasn't intermediate between AAA,
> AA, C, And D cells, which are different-size cylinders, but almost a
> cube several inches on a side.

Right, I remember the large cubical B cells. My grandparents in
northern Bohemia had doorbells powered by those. They were
hanging off the ceiling in the entrance hall. If I remember correctly,
they had DC power supplies in their house well into the fifties.
You couldn't use a simple inexpensive transformer to convert DC
to low voltage. It was cheaper to use batteries.

pjk


Ruud Harmsen

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Feb 12, 2012, 5:29:20 AM2/12/12
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"ranjit_...@yahoo.com" <ranjit_...@yahoo.com> schreef/wrote:

>If you mean "as if it were an English word written hoovercraft", then
>it would presumably be pronounced as if it were a Dutch word written
>huvercraft.

No. English doesn't have a sound like Dutch <u> in open syllables,
which is [y], i.e. almost front, high, rounded.

Ruud Harmsen

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Feb 12, 2012, 5:30:35 AM2/12/12
to
Joachim Pense <sn...@pense-mainz.eu> schreef/wrote:

>Many (I'd say most) Germans say "hoovercraft" and many probably
>erroneously write it with double o. They don't seem to care about the
>direction of the airflow.

That funny! A hoovercraft sucking itself stuck against the ice!

pauljk

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Feb 12, 2012, 11:15:49 AM2/12/12
to

"Ruud Harmsen" <r...@rudhar.com> wrote in message
news:955fj7hdkme4r0nno...@4ax.com...
> Joachim Pense <sn...@pense-mainz.eu> schreef/wrote:
>
>>Many (I'd say most) Germans say "hoovercraft" and many probably
>>erroneously write it with double o. They don't seem to care about the
>>direction of the airflow.
>
> That funny! A hoovercraft sucking itself stuck against the ice!

Nah, you just fly it upside down. :-)

pjk


ranjit_...@yahoo.com

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Feb 12, 2012, 11:29:58 AM2/12/12
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On Feb 12, 5:29 am, Ruud Harmsen <r...@rudhar.com> wrote:
> "ranjit_math...@yahoo.com" <ranjit_math...@yahoo.com> schreef/wrote:
>
> >If you mean "as if it were an English word written hoovercraft", then
> >it would presumably be pronounced as if it were a Dutch word written
> >huvercraft.
>
> No. English doesn't have a sound like Dutch <u> in open syllables,
> which is [y], i.e. almost front, high, rounded.

Then, how do you spell words containing [u] or [U]?

Joachim Pense

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Feb 12, 2012, 5:46:34 PM2/12/12
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With <oe>

Joachim

Ruud Harmsen

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Feb 13, 2012, 7:49:36 AM2/13/12
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"ranjit_...@yahoo.com" <ranjit_...@yahoo.com> schreef/wrote:
<oe>. Hence the title of my Dutch article:
http://rudhar.com/fonetics/hovrkrft.htm
Een hoeverkraft? Wat is dat?
which means:
A hoovercraft? What's that?

Adam Funk

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Feb 13, 2012, 4:43:06 PM2/13/12
to
On 2012-02-10, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

> Just a few minutes ago, I came across a poem by Sidney Lanier (of
> Macon, Georgia), written in 1868, that rhymes hover, lover, and cover.
> (It's the song "May the maiden" -- about the month of May.)

In the absence of recordings of a poet reading his or her own work
[1], how can we be sure whether he used only exact rather than
approximate rhymes?


[1] Without looking it up, I don't know for sure that this applies to
Lanier. I'm interested in the general question about poetry
before sound recording.


--
The kid's a hot prospect. He's got a good head for merchandising, an
agent who can take you downtown and one of the best urine samples I've
seen in a long time. [Dead Kennedys t-shirt]

Peter T. Daniels

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Feb 13, 2012, 5:01:12 PM2/13/12
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On Feb 13, 4:43 pm, Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com> wrote:
> On 2012-02-10, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
>
> > Just a few minutes ago, I came across a poem by Sidney Lanier (of
> > Macon, Georgia), written in 1868, that rhymes hover, lover, and cover.
> > (It's the song "May the maiden" -- about the month of May.)
>
> In the absence of recordings of a poet reading his or her own work
> [1], how can we be sure whether he used only exact rather than
> approximate rhymes?

Because he was Sidney Lanier. A few years later he composed a treatise
on The Science of English Verse setting forth his principles for
poetic form.

> [1] Without looking it up, I don't know for sure that this applies to
>     Lanier.  I'm interested in the general question about poetry
>     before sound recording.

It's one of the main sources for the pronunciation of pre-Modern
English.

Adam Funk

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Feb 15, 2012, 4:22:51 PM2/15/12
to
On 2012-02-13, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

> On Feb 13, 4:43 pm, Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com> wrote:
>> On 2012-02-10, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
>>
>> > Just a few minutes ago, I came across a poem by Sidney Lanier (of
>> > Macon, Georgia), written in 1868, that rhymes hover, lover, and cover.
>> > (It's the song "May the maiden" -- about the month of May.)
>>
>> In the absence of recordings of a poet reading his or her own work
>> [1], how can we be sure whether he used only exact rather than
>> approximate rhymes?
>
> Because he was Sidney Lanier. A few years later he composed a treatise
> on The Science of English Verse setting forth his principles for
> poetic form.

Fair enough.

>> [1] Without looking it up, I don't know for sure that this applies to
>>     Lanier.  I'm interested in the general question about poetry
>>     before sound recording.
>
> It's one of the main sources for the pronunciation of pre-Modern
> English.

Yes, I remember it's one of the types of evidence that David Crystal
mentioned for reconstructing Shakespearean pronunciation. There's
documentation for some types (classical French poetry, for example, &
Lanier as you mentioned), but can we be sure that it was almost always
the case until C.20?


--
By dint of plentiful try...catch constructs throughout our code base,
we are sometimes able to prevent our applications from aborting. We
think of the resultant state as "nailing the corpse in the upright
position". [Verity Stob]

Peter T. Daniels

unread,
Feb 15, 2012, 5:48:21 PM2/15/12
to
On Feb 15, 4:22 pm, Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com> wrote:
> On 2012-02-13, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
>
> > On Feb 13, 4:43 pm, Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com> wrote:
> >> On 2012-02-10, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
>
> >> > Just a few minutes ago, I came across a poem by Sidney Lanier (of
> >> > Macon, Georgia), written in 1868, that rhymes hover, lover, and cover.
> >> > (It's the song "May the maiden" -- about the month of May.)
>
> >> In the absence of recordings of a poet reading his or her own work
> >> [1], how can we be sure whether he used only exact rather than
> >> approximate rhymes?
>
> > Because he was Sidney Lanier. A few years later he composed a treatise
> > on The Science of English Verse setting forth his principles for
> > poetic form.
>
> Fair enough.
>
> >> [1] Without looking it up, I don't know for sure that this applies to
> >>     Lanier.  I'm interested in the general question about poetry
> >>     before sound recording.
>
> > It's one of the main sources for the pronunciation of pre-Modern
> > English.
>
> Yes, I remember it's one of the types of evidence that David Crystal
> mentioned for reconstructing Shakespearean pronunciation.  There's
> documentation for some types (classical French poetry, for example, &
> Lanier as you mentioned), but can we be sure that it was almost always
> the case until C.20?

That _what_ was almost always the case? "Eye rhyme" (rhyming "dive"
with "give," for instance) would not be a concept available before
there was standardized spelling.

Adam Funk

unread,
Feb 16, 2012, 8:30:22 AM2/16/12
to
On 2012-02-15, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

> On Feb 15, 4:22 pm, Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com> wrote:
>> On 2012-02-13, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
>> > On Feb 13, 4:43 pm, Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com> wrote:

>> >> In the absence of recordings of a poet reading his or her own work
>> >> [1], how can we be sure whether he used only exact rather than
>> >> approximate rhymes?
...
>> > It's one of the main sources for the pronunciation of pre-Modern
>> > English.
>>
>> Yes, I remember it's one of the types of evidence that David Crystal
>> mentioned for reconstructing Shakespearean pronunciation.  There's
>> documentation for some types (classical French poetry, for example, &
>> Lanier as you mentioned), but can we be sure that it was almost always
>> the case until C.20?
>
> That _what_ was almost always the case?

Exact rhyme.

> "Eye rhyme" (rhyming "dive" with "give," for instance) would not be
> a concept available before there was standardized spelling.

Oh, I agree about that; I mean: how can we be sure (in the absence of
documentation such as Lanier's) that a particular poet always used
only exact rhymes, & never used approximate ones?


--
English has perfect phonetic spelling. It just doesn't have phonetic
pronunciation. [Peter Moylan]

Adam Funk

unread,
Feb 16, 2012, 8:47:19 AM2/16/12
to
On 2012-02-11, pauljk wrote:

> Often people call them just "vacuum".
>
> It's my pet peeve, people calling vacuum cleaners vacuums,
> cell phones cells, and transistor radios transistors.

...and electric guitars electrics...

> The transistor used to annoy me because I couldn't understand
> why wouldn't people call it a radio at the time when portable
> valve radios were long since gone a buried. Well, it's not an issue
> anymore, now in the 21st century you hardly ever come across
> anybody who'd carry anything that could be refer to as
> a transistor radio. :-)

There are zillions of transistors inside each chip, carefully packed
in magic smoke.


--
Unix is a user-friendly operating system. It's just very choosy about
its friends.

Peter T. Daniels

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Feb 16, 2012, 5:14:31 PM2/16/12
to
By the time they were switching from alliterative verse to rhyming
verse, there wete manuals of poetics?

Can you point to some inexact rhymes in, say, Chaucer or Spenser?

Adam Funk

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Feb 17, 2012, 4:17:03 PM2/17/12
to
I don't know! In the absence of documentation (what constitutes a
"good enough" rhyme), how do we know that two lines of a couplet rhyme
*exactly* rather than near enough for Chaucer?

(I guess we assume that people only used exact rhymes until the
periods when we know they started using approximate ones?)


--
The three-martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency.
Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful and a snootful at
the same time? [Gerald Ford, 1978]

Peter T. Daniels

unread,
Feb 17, 2012, 4:56:27 PM2/17/12
to
On Feb 17, 4:17 pm, Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com> wrote:
> On 2012-02-16, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
>
> > On Feb 16, 8:30 am, Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com> wrote:
> >> Oh, I agree about that; I mean: how can we be sure (in the absence of
> >> documentation such as Lanier's) that a particular poet always used
> >> only exact rhymes, & never used approximate ones?
>
> > By the time they were switching from alliterative verse to rhyming
> > verse, there wete manuals of poetics?
>
> > Can you point to some inexact rhymes in, say, Chaucer or Spenser?
>
> I don't know!  In the absence of documentation (what constitutes a
> "good enough" rhyme), how do we know that two lines of a couplet rhyme
> *exactly* rather than near enough for Chaucer?
>
> (I guess we assume that people only used exact rhymes until the
> periods when we know they started using approximate ones?)

Seems reasonable.

DKleinecke

unread,
Feb 17, 2012, 9:09:29 PM2/17/12
to
Different cultures have different poetic rules. What rhymes in often
more conventional than phonetic. For example, in classical Arabic -
oon rhymes with -een.

But right next door to England - in Wales - only a little earlier
there was a spectacular explosion of verse with some mind-boggling
conventions (none of the details have stuck in my memory).
It would be imprudent to suggest that Welsh metric practices had any
effect on English metrics.

But you never know.

Adam Funk

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Feb 20, 2012, 8:49:12 AM2/20/12
to
On 2012-02-09, Nathan Sanders wrote:

> In article <ih08j79oqig1ecpit...@4ax.com>,
> Ruud Harmsen <r...@rudhar.com> wrote:
>
>> According to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hover , in
>> American English that word can have the vowel of words like cover and
>> lover.
...
>> British dictionaries say it can only be like spot, hot, dot etc.
>>
>> Is that really true?
>>
>> (We may have discussed this before here, but I don't know in what
>> context.)
>
> 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

hover /ˈhɒvə(r)/ /ˈhʌvə(r)/
Second edition, 1989; online version December 2011

with these keys:
IPA sounds like
ɒ o as in pot, option
ʌ u as in butter, upset


I *suspect* it might be a southern/northern thing, but I'm at a loss
to figure out how I can elicit "hover" from unsuspecting interviewees.


--
When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him
whose? --- Don Marquis

Peter T. Daniels

unread,
Feb 20, 2012, 5:29:10 PM2/20/12
to
On Feb 20, 8:49 am, Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com> wrote:
> On 2012-02-09, Nathan Sanders wrote:
> > In article <ih08j79oqig1ecpit703h443898d9eu...@4ax.com>,
> >  Ruud Harmsen <r...@rudhar.com> wrote:
>
> >> According tohttp://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hover, in
> >> American English that word can have the vowel of words like cover and
> >> lover.
> ...
> >> British dictionaries say it can only be like spot, hot, dot etc.
>
> >> Is that really true?
>
> >> (We may have discussed this before here, but I don't know in what
> >> context.)
>
> > 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?

Adam Funk

unread,
Feb 21, 2012, 7:34:08 AM2/21/12
to
On 2012-02-20, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

> On Feb 20, 8:49 am, Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com> wrote:
>> 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/.

Personally, I'd be inclined to write the AmE pronunciations as
/ˈlʌvər/ & /lʌv/, but I'm ready to admit I'm not great with phonology
& I may be influenced by what I perceive as "better" pronunciations.


>> hover  /ˈhɒvə(r)/ /ˈhʌvə(r)/
>>        Second edition, 1989; online version December 2011
>>
>> with these keys:
>>    IPA  sounds like
>>    ɒ    o  as in pot, option
>>    ʌ    u  as in butter, upset

also
ə ə as in another (schwa)

(That doesn't appear to make sense as I've pasted it in plain text,
but on the website, "another" comes up with "a" and "e" in bold.)


--
I used to be better at logic problems, before I just dumped
them all into TeX and let Knuth pick out the survivors.
-- plorkwort

Peter T. Daniels

unread,
Feb 21, 2012, 8:30:33 AM2/21/12
to
On Feb 21, 7:34 am, Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com> wrote:
> On 2012-02-20, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
>
> > On Feb 20, 8:49 am, Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com> wrote:
> >> 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].

> Personally, I'd be inclined to write the AmE pronunciations as
> /ˈlʌvər/ & /lʌv/, but I'm ready to admit I'm not great with phonology
> & I may be influenced by what I perceive as "better" pronunciations.
>
> >> hover  /ˈhɒvə(r)/ /ˈhʌvə(r)/
> >>        Second edition, 1989; online version December 2011
>
> >> with these keys:
> >>    IPA  sounds like
> >>    ɒ    o  as in pot, option
> >>    ʌ    u  as in butter, upset
>
> also
> ə   ə   as in another (schwa)
>
> (That doesn't appear to make sense as I've pasted it in plain text,
> but on the website, "another" comes up with "a" and "e" in bold.)

Perhaps to highlight the sounds they are explaining in the line.

Adam Funk

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Feb 21, 2012, 3:15:06 PM2/21/12
to
On 2012-02-21, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

> On Feb 21, 7:34 am, Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com> wrote:
>> On 2012-02-20, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
>>
>> > On Feb 20, 8:49 am, Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com> wrote:
>> >> 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 guess they made the decision to include those /ə/s for the U.S.
between 1989 & 2008. Maybe "hover" & "cover" will get the same
treatment when next revised.


>> Personally, I'd be inclined to write the AmE pronunciations as
>> /ˈlʌvər/ & /lʌv/, but I'm ready to admit I'm not great with phonology
>> & I may be influenced by what I perceive as "better" pronunciations.
>>
>> >> hover  /ˈhɒvə(r)/ /ˈhʌvə(r)/
>> >>        Second edition, 1989; online version December 2011
>>
>> >> with these keys:
>> >>    IPA  sounds like
>> >>    ɒ    o  as in pot, option
>> >>    ʌ    u  as in butter, upset
>>
>> also
>> ə   ə   as in another (schwa)
>>
>> (That doesn't appear to make sense as I've pasted it in plain text,
>> but on the website, "another" comes up with "a" and "e" in bold.)
>
> Perhaps to highlight the sounds they are explaining in the line.

(Of course. I just mentioned it to make sense of my C&P text.)


--
There's a statute of limitations with the law, but not with
your wife. [Ray Magliozzi, ep. 2011-36]

benl...@ihug.co.nz

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Feb 25, 2012, 8:03:26 PM2/25/12
to
On Feb 22, 2:30 am, "Peter T. Daniels" <gramma...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On Feb 21, 7:34 am, Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > On 2012-02-20, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
>
> > > On Feb 20, 8:49 am, Adam Funk <a24...@ducksburg.com> wrote:
> > >> 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
discussed.

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.

Ross Clark

Peter T. Daniels

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Feb 26, 2012, 1:28:33 AM2/26/12
to
Certainly [ʌ] is taken as the realization of stressed /ə/ in Smith-
Trager, but that's apparently not what they're claiming.

The problem is that they didn't have their computer simply replace all
of one symbol with another, so that the three rhyming words would not
be notated two different ways.
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