Difference between revisions of "Cot-caught merger"

From Teflpedia
(/ɑːr/ or /ɔːr/: ref)
(Homophones: knotty - naughty; rot - wrought; wok - walk;)
 
(43 intermediate revisions by 2 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
In many parts of North America (about half the United States and all of Canada)<ref>William Labov,[http://babel.ling.upenn.edu/phono_atlas/ICSLP4/BW/ICSLP4BW.html The Organization of Dialect Diversity in North America], The o/oh merger [i.e. The /ɑː - ɔː/ merger].</ref> /ɑː/ and [[Phoneme /ɔː/ in General American|/ɔː/]] sound the same. This is in addition to the father - bother merger, where [[Phoneme /ɑː/ in General American|/ɑː/ and /ɒ/]] sound the same. This means that caught /ɔː/, cot /ɒ/, father /ɑː/ and bother /ɒ/ have all the same stressed vowel /ɑː/. In this accent /ɔː/ appears only followed by /r/: north, force.
+
In many parts of North America (about half the United States and nearly all of Canada)<ref>William Labov,[http://babel.ling.upenn.edu/phono_atlas/ICSLP4/BW/ICSLP4BW.html The Organization of Dialect Diversity in North America], The o/oh merger [i.e. The /ɑː - ɔː/ merger].</ref><ref>Wikipedia, [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonological_history_of_English_low_back_vowels#Cot.E2.80.93caught_merger Phonological history of English low back vowels § Cot–caught merger]. Retrieved 14 April 2016.</ref> {{nw|/ɑː/}} and {{nw|[[Phoneme /ɔː/ in General American|/ɔː/]]}} sound the same. This is in addition to the father-bother merger, where [[Phoneme /ɑː/ in General American|{{nw|/ɑː/}} and {{nw|/ɒ/}}]] sound the same. This means that ''caught'' {{nw|/ɔː/}} and ''cot'' {{nw|/ɒ/}} (also ''father'' {{nw|/ɑː/}} and ''bother'' /ɒ/) have the same stressed vowel {{nw|/ɑː/.}} In this accent {{nw|/ɔː/}} appears only followed by /r/: north, force.
  
This accent is so prevalent that it is used in [http://www.learnersdictionary.com/ Merriam Webster Learner's Dictionary] and in [http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/british/ Cambridge Dictionaries Online for British English, US label]. Note that Cambridge Dictionaries Online list two different American pronunciations, and only the one that is labeled US has the cot-caught merger.
+
This accent (which is not [[General American]]) is so prevalent that it is used in [[Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary]] and in [http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/british/ Cambridge Dictionaries Online for British English, US label]. Note that Cambridge Dictionaries Online list two different American pronunciations, the one in [http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/essential-american-english/ Essential American English] doesn't have the merger.
 +
 
 +
It can be conjectured that the spread of this merger via mass media has made some particular  “modern” words to be pronounced with /ɑː/ even in dialects that have {{nw|/ɔː/.<ref>JeffinNYC in Antimoon Forum, [http://www.antimoon.com/forum/t16885.htm "cot" and "caught", page 1], June 22, 2010</ref>}} For example "astronaut" pronounced as {{nw|/ˈæstrəˌnɑːt/}}<ref>Random House Dictionary in Dictionary.com, [http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/astronaut astronaut].</ref> in addition to {{nw|/ˈæstrəˌnɔːt/.}}
  
 
Other names for this merger (better for those who have it) are "<small>LOT - THOUGHT</small> merger" or "<small>PALM - LOT - THOUGHT</small> merger". There is an area in the United States (in New England) where "lot" and "thought" are merged as [ɒ] but "palm"/"father" is different (as [ɑ]). This means that strictly speaking "<small>LOT - THOUGHT</small> merger" and "<small>PALM - LOT - THOUGHT</small> merger" are different concepts.
 
Other names for this merger (better for those who have it) are "<small>LOT - THOUGHT</small> merger" or "<small>PALM - LOT - THOUGHT</small> merger". There is an area in the United States (in New England) where "lot" and "thought" are merged as [ɒ] but "palm"/"father" is different (as [ɑ]). This means that strictly speaking "<small>LOT - THOUGHT</small> merger" and "<small>PALM - LOT - THOUGHT</small> merger" are different concepts.
  
 +
The cot-caught merger is present also in Europe, but there the father-bother merger does not appear (similar to the area in New England mentioned above). The rest of this article is about the North American merge.
 +
 +
==Comparison of phonemes==
 
{|class=prettytable
 
{|class=prettytable
!Sample word!!Merriam Webster's<br>Learner's Dictionary!!Cambridge Dictionaries<br>British English - US!!Cambridge Dictionaries<br>American English!!Most American Dictionaries<br>(if they use IPA)!!Teflpedia
+
!Sample word
 +
!Merriam Webster's<br>Learner's Dictionary<ref>[http://www.learnersdictionary.com/ Merriam Webster's Learner's Dictionary]</ref>
 +
!Cambridge Dictionaries<br>English - US<ref>[http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/ Cambridge Dictionaries Online - English].</ref>
 +
!Cambridge Dictionaries<br>Essential American English<ref>[http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/essential-american-english/ Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Essential American English]</ref>
 +
!Most American Dictionaries<br>(if they use IPA)<ref>See for example ''Random House Dictionary'' available in [http://www.dictionary.com/ Dictionary.com].</ref>
 +
!Teflpedia
 
|-
 
|-
|palm, f'''a'''ther||/ɑː/||/ɑː/||/ɑ/||/ɑ/||/ɑː/
+
|p'''a'''lm, f'''a'''ther||[ɑː]||/ɑː/||/ɑ/||/ɑ/||/ɑː/
 
|-
 
|-
|st'''ar'''t||/ɑɚ/||/ɑːr/||/ɑr/||/ɑr/||/ɑːr/
+
|st'''ar'''t||[ɑɚ]||/ɑːr/||/ɑr/||/ɑr/||/ɑːr/
 
|-
 
|-
|saf'''ar'''i||/ɑr/||/ɑːr/||/ɑr/||/ɑr/||/ɑːr/
+
|saf'''ar'''i||[ɑr]||/ɑːr/||/ɑr/||/ɑr/||/ɑːr/
 
|-
 
|-
|lot||/ɑː/||/ɑː/||/ɑ/||/ɑ/||/ɒ/
+
|l'''o'''t||[ɑː]||/ɑː/||/ɑ/||/ɑ/||/ɒ/
 
|-
 
|-
|s'''orr'''y||/ɑr/||/ɔː/||/ɑr, ɔr/||/ɑr/||/ɒr/
+
|s'''orr'''y||[ɑr]||/ɔː/||/ɑr/||/ɑr/||/ɒr/
 
|-
 
|-
|b'''orr'''ow||/ɑr/||/ɑː/||/ɑr, ɔr/||/ɑr/||/ɒr/
+
|b'''orr'''ow||[ɑr]||/ɑː/||/ɑr/||/ɑr/||/ɒr/
 
|-
 
|-
|thought||/ɑː/||/ɑː/||/ɔ/||/ɔ/||/ɔː/
+
|'''or'''ange||[ɑr, or]||/ɔr/||/ɔr, ɑr/||/ɔr/||/ɒ{{bre}}, ɔː{{ame}}/
 
|-
 
|-
|cloth||/ɑː/||/ɑː/||/ɔ/||/ɔ/||/ɒ<sup>*</sup>/ or /ɒ{{bre}}, ɔː{{ame}}/
+
|cl'''o'''th||[ɑː]||/ɑː/||/ɔ/||/ɔ/||/ɒ<sup>*</sup>/ or /ɒ{{bre}}, ɔː{{ame}}/
 
|-
 
|-
|n'''or'''th||/oɚ/||/ɔːr/||/ɔr/||/ɔr/||/ɔːr/
+
|th'''ough'''t||[ɑː]||/ɑː/||/ɔ/||/ɔ/||/ɔː/
 
|-
 
|-
|m'''or'''al||/or/||/ɔːr/||/ɔr, ɑr/||/ɔːr/||/ɔːr/
+
|l'''awy'''er||[ɑːj, oj]||/ɑː.j/|||/ɔɪ/||/ɔj, ɔɪ/||/ɔːj/
 
|-
 
|-
|f'''or'''ce||/oɚ/||/ɔːr/||/ɔr, oʊr/||/ɔr/ and sometimes /oʊr/||/ɔːr/
+
|ch'''oi'''ce||[oi]||/ɔɪ/||/ɔɪ/||/ɔɪ/||/ɔɪ/
 
|-
 
|-
|gl'''or'''y||/or/||/ɔːr/||/ɔr, oʊr/||/ɔr/ and sometimes /oʊr/||/ɔːr/
+
|n'''or'''th||[oɚ]||/ɔːr/||/ɔr/||/ɔr/||/ɔːr/
 +
|-
 +
|m'''or'''al||[or]||/ɔːr/||/ɔr, ɑr/||/ɔːr/||/ɒ{{bre}}, ɔː{{ame}}/
 +
|-
 +
|f'''or'''ce||[oɚ]||/ɔːr/||/ɔr/||/ɔr/ and sometimes /oʊr/||/ɔːr/
 +
|-
 +
|gl'''or'''y||[or]||/ɔːr/||/ɔr/||/ɔr/ and sometimes /oʊr/||/ɔːr/
 
|}
 
|}
  
 
Sometimes we mark the <small>CLOTH</small> vowel with an asterisk, as follows:  
 
Sometimes we mark the <small>CLOTH</small> vowel with an asterisk, as follows:  
 
:<nowiki>*:</nowiki> These words are pronounced with /ɔː/ in [[General American]].
 
:<nowiki>*:</nowiki> These words are pronounced with /ɔː/ in [[General American]].
;Homophones
+
 
 +
==Homophones==
 
The cot-caught merger generates very few [[homophone]]s.
 
The cot-caught merger generates very few [[homophone]]s.
*bot (computer program; shortening of ''robot)'' - bought; collar - caller; cot - caught; don (put clothes on)/Don (nickname of Donald) - dawn/Dawn; stock - stalk;
+
*bot (computer program; shortening of ''robot)'' - bought; collar - caller; cot - caught; don (put clothes on)/Don (nickname of Donald) - dawn/Dawn; knotty - naughty; rot - wrought; stock - stalk; tot (very young child) - taught; wok - walk;
 +
 
 +
The <small>PALM - LOT - THOUGHT</small> merger generates even fewer homophones.
 +
*Bach ''(composer)'' - balk,{{amSp}} baulk{{brSp}}; la ''(musical note)'' - law; Ra ''(sun god)'' - raw
  
==/ɑː/ in the <small>PALM - LOT - THOUGHT</small> merger==
+
==Phoneme /ɑː/ in the <small>PALM - LOT - THOUGHT</small> merger==
 
{{box|This [[phonetics]] article is valid in an area that includes roughly 50% of North America but is not [[General American]], the accent used in television.}}
 
{{box|This [[phonetics]] article is valid in an area that includes roughly 50% of North America but is not [[General American]], the accent used in television.}}
 
<div style="float:right;"><table><tr><td>
 
<div style="float:right;"><table><tr><td>
{{IPA symbol|ɑː|Cot-caught merger|start /stɑːrt/}}
+
{{IPA symbol|ɑ|Phoneme /ɑː/ in General American|lot /lɑt/<br><br>palm /pɑm/<br>start /stɑrt/<br>sari /sɑri/|American<br>dictionaries}}
{{IPA symbol|ɑː|Cot-caught merger|palm /pɑːm/}}
+
{{IPA symbol|ɑː|Cot-caught merger|lot /lɑːt/<br>thought /θɑːt/<br>palm /pɑːm/<br>start /stɑːrt/<br>sari /sɑːriː/|British<br>convention}}
{{IPA symbol|ɑː|Cot-caught merger|thought /θɑːt/}}
 
{{IPA symbol|ɑː|Cot-caught merger|lot /lɑːt/}}
 
 
</td></tr><tr><td>
 
</td></tr><tr><td>
{{IPA symbol|ɑ|Phoneme /ɑː/ in General American|lot /lɑt/|American<br>dictionaries}}
+
{{IPA symbol|ɑ|Cot-caught merger|sari /sɑri/|MWLD<br>&nbsp;}}
 +
{{IPA symbol|ɑɚ|Cot-caught merger|start /stɑɚt/|MWLD<br>&nbsp;}}
 +
{{IPA symbol|ɑː|Cot-caught merger|lot /lɑːt/<br>tought /θɑːt/<br>palm /pɑːm/|MWLD<br>&nbsp;}}
 
</td></tr></table></div>
 
</td></tr></table></div>
This article is valid in an area in North America where the following words have the same phoneme vowel: "start", "art", "palm", "spa", "lot", "stop", "thought" and "law".
+
This article is valid in an area in North America where the following words have the same phoneme vowel: "start", "palm", "spa", "lot", "thought" and "law".
 +
 
 +
Many people pronounce /ɑː/ and /ɑːr/ with different vowels (e.g. lodge as [lɑdʒ] and large as [lɑːrdʒ]); however since the difference is predictable there is no problem using the same symbol in both cases (e.g. /lɑːdʒ/ and /lɑːrdʒ/).  
  
Many people pronounce /ɑː/ and /ɑːr/ with different vowels (e.g. lodge as [lɑdʒ] and large as [lɑːrdʒ]); however since the difference is predictable there is no problem using the same symbol in both cases (e.g. /lɑːdʒ/ and /lɑːrdʒ/).
+
Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary (MWLD) uses the cot-caught merger in its transcriptions. However, since it uses narrow notation, it uses three different symbols: /ɑː/ for "lot" and "lodge", /ɑɚ/ for "start" and "large" and and /ɑ/ for "sari".
  
 
==Common words==
 
==Common words==
 
Some common words which practice the pronunciation of /ɑː/ include the following:  
 
Some common words which practice the pronunciation of /ɑː/ include the following:  
* with "a": father - iguana - llama - piñata - wad - wander - want - wash - wasp - watch
+
* with "a": father, iguana, llama, piñata, wad, wander, want, wash, wasp, watch, water
:* with "al": almost - already - alter - always - false - salt
+
:* with "al": almost, already, also, alter, always, false, salt
::"al" as /ɑː/: calm - chalk - palm - talk - walk
+
::"al" as /ɑː/: calm, chalk, palm, talk, walk
:* with "all": ball - call - fall - hall - mall - small - wall - wallet
+
:* with "all": ball, call, fall, hall, mall, small, wall, wallet
:* with "ar": are - aren't - arm - art - article - bar - car - charge - dark - department - far - farm - hard - harm - large - market - park - part - party - regard - smart - star - start - warrant - warranty - water
+
:* with "ar": are, aren't, arm, art, article, bar, car, charge, dark, department, far, farm, hard, harm, large, market, park, part, party, regard, smart, star, start, warrant, warranty
*with "o": B'''o'''ston - ch'''o'''colate - cloth - cost - f'''o'''llow - gone - got - hot - job - long - lost - lot - not - office - on - possible - probably - problem - song - strong - stop - wrong
+
*with "o": B'''o'''ston, ch'''o'''colate, cloth, cost, f'''o'''llow, gone, got, hot, job, long, lost, lot, not, off, offer, office, often, on, possible, probably, problem, process, product, shop, song, strong, stop, top, wrong
* with "oa": abroad - broad
+
* with "oa": abroad, broad
* with "ough": ought - thought
+
* with "ough": cough, ought, thought
:past tense and past participle: bought - brought - fought - sought - thought
+
:past tense and past participle: bought, brought, fought, sought, thought
* with "aw": dawn - flaw - hawk - jaw - law - lawn - raw - saw - shawl - thaw - yawn
+
* with "aw": dawn, draw, flaw, hawk, jaw, law, lawn, raw, saw, shawl, thaw, yawn
* with "au": auction - August - Aussie - austerity - Australia - Austria - author - autumn - cause - clause - daughter - fault - launch
+
* with "au": auction, August, Aussie, austerity, Australia, Austria, author, autumn, cause, clause, daughter, fault, launch, pause
 
:past tense and past participle: caught - taught
 
:past tense and past participle: caught - taught
* /ɑː/ or /ʌ/: what
+
* /ɑː/ or /ʌ/: bec'''au'''se, what
* others: heart - cough
+
* /ɑːj/ or /ɔɪ/: lawyer
 +
 
 +
Spelling anomalies
 +
*heart, knowledge
  
*[[homophones]]: bomb - balm; caller - collar; knot - not;
+
[[Homophones]]
 +
*bomb - balm; caller - collar; knot - not;
  
 
==/ɑːr/ or /ɔːr/==
 
==/ɑːr/ or /ɔːr/==
''See [[Pronunciation exercises: "orV" and "orrV"]]''
+
''See [[Decoding exercises: "orV" and "orrV"]]''
  
The following 5 words are pronounced with /ɑː/ in this accent:<ref name=Wikipedia>Wikipedia, [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English-language_vowel_changes_before_historic_/r/#Historic_.22short_o.22_before_intervocalic_R English-language vowel changes before historic /r/ § Historic "short o" before intervocalic R]. Retreived 14 May 2015.</ref><ref>[http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/origin Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary]. Note that this dictionary writes /ɑː/ in "palm" and "lot", and it writes /ɑ/ in "safari". Teflpedia always uses /ɑː/.</ref>
+
Only the following five words are pronounced with /ɑː/ in this accent.<ref name=Wikipedia>Wikipedia, [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English-language_vowel_changes_before_historic_/r/#Mergers_of_.2F.C9.92r-.2F_and_.2F.C9.94.CB.90r-.2F English-language vowel changes before historic /r/ § Mergers of /ɒr-/ and /ɔːr-/]. Retreived 14 May 2015.</ref><ref>[http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/sorry Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary].</ref> Cambridge Dictonaries (“US” label) only agree in three words,<ref>[http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/borrow Cambridge Dictionaries Online - English]. We don't reference the American English section, because an unmerged accent is reported there.</ref> marked with <sup>(*)</sup>.
  
*borrow - morrow (shortening of "tomorrow") - sorrow - sorry - tomorrow  
+
*borrow,<sup>(*)</sup> morrow<sup>(*)</sup> (shortening of "tomorrow"), sorrow, sorry, tomorrow<sup>(*)</sup>
  
The following words (and probably others) are pronounced with /ɑː/ by some speakers and with /ɔː/ by others.<ref>[http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/origin Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary]. Note that when this dictionary writes /or/ Teflpedia writes /ɔːr/.</ref>
+
According to Wikipedia, the following words are pronounced with /ɑː/ by some speakers and with /ɔː/ by others.<ref name=Wikipedia/> Only words marked with <sup>(*)</sup> have two pronunciations in Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary; the rest have only /or/, equivalent to Teflpedia's /ɔːr/.<ref>[http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/orange Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary].</ref>
  
*Florida - orange
+
*corridor, euphoric, foreign, forest, Florida,<sup>(*)</sup> historic, horrible, majority, minority, moral, orange,<sup>(*)</sup> Oregon, origin, porridge, priority, quarantine, quarrel, sorority, warranty, warren, warrior
  
 
==Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1==
 
==Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1==
Line 89: Line 115:
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
*[[Pronunciation]]
+
*[[Phoneme /ɔː/ in the PALM - LOT - THOUGHT merger]]
  
 
== References ==
 
== References ==

Latest revision as of 13:44, 28 January 2019

In many parts of North America (about half the United States and nearly all of Canada)[1][2] /ɑː/ and /ɔː/ sound the same. This is in addition to the father-bother merger, where /ɑː/ and /ɒ/ sound the same. This means that caught /ɔː/ and cot /ɒ/ (also father /ɑː/ and bother /ɒ/) have the same stressed vowel /ɑː/. In this accent /ɔː/ appears only followed by /r/: north, force.

This accent (which is not General American) is so prevalent that it is used in Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary and in Cambridge Dictionaries Online for British English, US label. Note that Cambridge Dictionaries Online list two different American pronunciations, the one in Essential American English doesn't have the merger.

It can be conjectured that the spread of this merger via mass media has made some particular “modern” words to be pronounced with /ɑː/ even in dialects that have /ɔː/.[3] For example "astronaut" pronounced as /ˈæstrəˌnɑːt/[4] in addition to /ˈæstrəˌnɔːt/.

Other names for this merger (better for those who have it) are "LOT - THOUGHT merger" or "PALM - LOT - THOUGHT merger". There is an area in the United States (in New England) where "lot" and "thought" are merged as [ɒ] but "palm"/"father" is different (as [ɑ]). This means that strictly speaking "LOT - THOUGHT merger" and "PALM - LOT - THOUGHT merger" are different concepts.

The cot-caught merger is present also in Europe, but there the father-bother merger does not appear (similar to the area in New England mentioned above). The rest of this article is about the North American merge.

Comparison of phonemes[edit]

Sample word Merriam Webster's
Learner's Dictionary[5]
Cambridge Dictionaries
English - US[6]
Cambridge Dictionaries
Essential American English[7]
Most American Dictionaries
(if they use IPA)[8]
Teflpedia
palm, father [ɑː] /ɑː/ /ɑ/ /ɑ/ /ɑː/
start [ɑɚ] /ɑːr/ /ɑr/ /ɑr/ /ɑːr/
safari [ɑr] /ɑːr/ /ɑr/ /ɑr/ /ɑːr/
lot [ɑː] /ɑː/ /ɑ/ /ɑ/ /ɒ/
sorry [ɑr] /ɔː/ /ɑr/ /ɑr/ /ɒr/
borrow [ɑr] /ɑː/ /ɑr/ /ɑr/ /ɒr/
orange [ɑr, or] /ɔr/ /ɔr, ɑr/ /ɔr/ BrE, ɔːAmE/
cloth [ɑː] /ɑː/ /ɔ/ /ɔ/ */ or /ɒBrE, ɔːAmE/
thought [ɑː] /ɑː/ /ɔ/ /ɔ/ /ɔː/
lawyer [ɑːj, oj] /ɑː.j/ /ɔɪ/ /ɔj, ɔɪ/ /ɔːj/
choice [oi] /ɔɪ/ /ɔɪ/ /ɔɪ/ /ɔɪ/
north [oɚ] /ɔːr/ /ɔr/ /ɔr/ /ɔːr/
moral [or] /ɔːr/ /ɔr, ɑr/ /ɔːr/ BrE, ɔːAmE/
force [oɚ] /ɔːr/ /ɔr/ /ɔr/ and sometimes /oʊr/ /ɔːr/
glory [or] /ɔːr/ /ɔr/ /ɔr/ and sometimes /oʊr/ /ɔːr/

Sometimes we mark the CLOTH vowel with an asterisk, as follows:

*: These words are pronounced with /ɔː/ in General American.

Homophones[edit]

The cot-caught merger generates very few homophones.

  • bot (computer program; shortening of robot) - bought; collar - caller; cot - caught; don (put clothes on)/Don (nickname of Donald) - dawn/Dawn; knotty - naughty; rot - wrought; stock - stalk; tot (very young child) - taught; wok - walk;

The PALM - LOT - THOUGHT merger generates even fewer homophones.

  • Bach (composer) - balk,AmE baulkBrE; la (musical note) - law; Ra (sun god) - raw

Phoneme /ɑː/ in the PALM - LOT - THOUGHT merger[edit]

This phonetics article is valid in an area that includes roughly 50% of North America but is not General American, the accent used in television.

American
dictionaries

ɑ

lot /lɑt/

palm /pɑm/
start /stɑrt/
sari /sɑri/

British
convention

ɑː

lot /lɑːt/
thought /θɑːt/
palm /pɑːm/
start /stɑːrt/
sari /sɑːriː/

MWLD
 

ɑ

sari /sɑri/

MWLD
 

ɑɚ

start /stɑɚt/

MWLD
 

ɑː

lot /lɑːt/
tought /θɑːt/
palm /pɑːm/

This article is valid in an area in North America where the following words have the same phoneme vowel: "start", "palm", "spa", "lot", "thought" and "law".

Many people pronounce /ɑː/ and /ɑːr/ with different vowels (e.g. lodge as [lɑdʒ] and large as [lɑːrdʒ]); however since the difference is predictable there is no problem using the same symbol in both cases (e.g. /lɑːdʒ/ and /lɑːrdʒ/).

Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary (MWLD) uses the cot-caught merger in its transcriptions. However, since it uses narrow notation, it uses three different symbols: /ɑː/ for "lot" and "lodge", /ɑɚ/ for "start" and "large" and and /ɑ/ for "sari".

Common words[edit]

Some common words which practice the pronunciation of /ɑː/ include the following:

  • with "a": father, iguana, llama, piñata, wad, wander, want, wash, wasp, watch, water
  • with "al": almost, already, also, alter, always, false, salt
"al" as /ɑː/: calm, chalk, palm, talk, walk
  • with "all": ball, call, fall, hall, mall, small, wall, wallet
  • with "ar": are, aren't, arm, art, article, bar, car, charge, dark, department, far, farm, hard, harm, large, market, park, part, party, regard, smart, star, start, warrant, warranty
  • with "o": Boston, chocolate, cloth, cost, follow, gone, got, hot, job, long, lost, lot, not, off, offer, office, often, on, possible, probably, problem, process, product, shop, song, strong, stop, top, wrong
  • with "oa": abroad, broad
  • with "ough": cough, ought, thought
past tense and past participle: bought, brought, fought, sought, thought
  • with "aw": dawn, draw, flaw, hawk, jaw, law, lawn, raw, saw, shawl, thaw, yawn
  • with "au": auction, August, Aussie, austerity, Australia, Austria, author, autumn, cause, clause, daughter, fault, launch, pause
past tense and past participle: caught - taught
  • /ɑː/ or /ʌ/: because, what
  • /ɑːj/ or /ɔɪ/: lawyer

Spelling anomalies

  • heart, knowledge

Homophones

  • bomb - balm; caller - collar; knot - not;

/ɑːr/ or /ɔːr/[edit]

See Decoding exercises: "orV" and "orrV"

Only the following five words are pronounced with /ɑː/ in this accent.[9][10] Cambridge Dictonaries (“US” label) only agree in three words,[11] marked with (*).

  • borrow,(*) morrow(*) (shortening of "tomorrow"), sorrow, sorry, tomorrow(*)

According to Wikipedia, the following words are pronounced with /ɑː/ by some speakers and with /ɔː/ by others.[9] Only words marked with (*) have two pronunciations in Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary; the rest have only /or/, equivalent to Teflpedia's /ɔːr/.[12]

  • corridor, euphoric, foreign, forest, Florida,(*) historic, horrible, majority, minority, moral, orange,(*) Oregon, origin, porridge, priority, quarantine, quarrel, sorority, warranty, warren, warrior

Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1[edit]

Spanish[edit]

In Latin America American English is taught (the United Kingdom is far away). Spanish speakers tend to pronounce /ɑː/ according to the spelling. They will pronounce "palm" as [pam] and "lot" as *[lot].

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. William Labov,The Organization of Dialect Diversity in North America, The o/oh merger [i.e. The /ɑː - ɔː/ merger].
  2. Wikipedia, Phonological history of English low back vowels § Cot–caught merger. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  3. JeffinNYC in Antimoon Forum, "cot" and "caught", page 1, June 22, 2010
  4. Random House Dictionary in Dictionary.com, astronaut.
  5. Merriam Webster's Learner's Dictionary
  6. Cambridge Dictionaries Online - English.
  7. Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Essential American English
  8. See for example Random House Dictionary available in Dictionary.com.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Wikipedia, English-language vowel changes before historic /r/ § Mergers of /ɒr-/ and /ɔːr-/. Retreived 14 May 2015.
  10. Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary.
  11. Cambridge Dictionaries Online - English. We don't reference the American English section, because an unmerged accent is reported there.
  12. Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary.

External links[edit]

References[edit]