Re: Character Identity and Font Selection

From: Stephan Stiller <>
Date: Sun, 12 Jun 2011 03:48:31 -0700

Thanks for the reply. Yes - what you say definitely makes sense and is

Still, [æ] is quite long (and "tense" I guess, though this isn't really
obvious from the IPA chart) in American English. In British English it's
quite long as well, because perhaps it's in a sense the "most open"
vowel in English. So it seems inconsistent to write [iː] and [uː] but
"only" [æ] and not [æː] (now using ː instead of : - I was lazy before).
And, fwiw, the British dictionary conventions for what sorts of phonemic
contrasts they were recognizing (modeled on RP, which is of course also
an arbitrary cultural choice) didn't (and still don't?) include an
[æ]–[æː] contrast.


>> Why do many British transcriptions use
>> vowel length indications, while American ones rarely do? (And if the
>> British do, they don't normally apply it to [æ] - why?)
> Vowel length matters more to Britons - perhaps because non-rhotic
> accents have a wider range of vowels.
> As to [æ], some accents contrast [æ] and [æː] - see
> .
> I would also be inclined to represent the monophthongisation of
> <fire> /faɪə/ as [fæː] - it's subtly different from [fɑː]<far> and
> [pɑː]<power>.
> Richard.
Received on Sun Jun 12 2011 - 05:51:59 CDT

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