Neutral American English

Kelly   Tue May 15, 2007 7:21 pm GMT
''I think we can conclude, then, that older speakers in California do indeed
speak English very close to the GenAm standard. ''

yes, they are CCmerged but w/o theCVS.

''The c/c vowels are similar, but not identical; the sound in "caught" is dropped somewhat. ''

Try remembering CC merger is a phonological merger, rather than the strictly defined pronunciation. CAUGHT can be either [kAt, KQt, kOt] depending on person, mood, position in the sentence; COT can be either [kAt, KQt, kOt]. This variation is very common in California and Canada.
A person can pronounce CAUGHT as [kAt] in one sentence, and COT as [kQt] in the next sentence...DOLLAR, CALLER and COLLAR can have both [Q] or [A]...SMALL can rhyme w/DALL...(it can be either [A] or [Q] )

you need to listen carefully...

[kAt] can be
1. an NCVS shifted pronunciation of caught [kQt] (cot is [kat or kaet] for that person)
2. CCmerged pronunciation of caught/cot[kAt]

[kQt] can be
1. traditional GA pronunciation of caught [kQt]
2. CVS pronunciation of both caught/cot [kQt]

When a Canadian/Californian person hears [dQn], s/he could write it as either DAWN or DON. (my cousin's name's [dQn]).
When a Canadian/Californian person hears [dAn], s/he could write it as either DAWN or DON. (my cousin's name's [dAn]).
Jasper   Tue May 15, 2007 7:45 pm GMT

I did all that. :-)

In all speakers on the West Coast I interviewed, the pronunciation of cot/caught was exactly the same--except for the one anamoly I found.

Other forum posters have pointed out that the cot/caught unmerged feature can be found in certain speakers in the San Francisco area; while my subject was from Sacramento--only a 100 miles away or so--the cot/caught unmerged feature remained.

Believe me too, I know all about NCVS; to my own ears, the difference is not subtle, but striking. Probably less so to a native Californian, but very striking, indeed, to my own ears. It's like fingernails on a blackboard...

I'd like to hear more about Canadian pronunciation; is it mildly deviant, or strongly deviant, from GenAm? Is there such a thing as General Canadian? <chuckle> (that sounds kinda corny). Is there an area in Canada to which speakers speak the closest to a General Canadian speech?
(In very casual listening, I've heard strong vowel raising in Eastern Canadian speech). Thanks a bunch.
Jasper   Tue May 15, 2007 7:51 pm GMT
On another note--Travis has informed us that CVS is a new feature of California Speech.

All my subjects who were middle aged spoke without CVS, so my research-limited as it was--completely confirmed his statement.

As we have concurred, middle-aged speakers in California, who speak without CVS--probably come very close, indeed, to GenAm speech. :-)
The Classy American   Tue May 15, 2007 10:39 pm GMT
Canadian-English is all -eh?- {I guess they're incoherent, hehe}

Texan-English has too many idioms, like Mexican-spanish {I guess Texans are an example of how California is going to sound like in the near future}

New-york English is all "wha / nah / cou" {I guess they can't speak well enough due to their hamburgers marinating in their mouth, like most americans}

The best accent is Montana lee bama!
Kess   Wed May 16, 2007 1:46 am GMT
''Is there such a thing as General Canadian?''
Yes and no.

''How general is General Canadian?''