I am a writing center administrator and composition instructor with a PhD in early English literature. My favorite topics in English Language & Usage include the history of the English language (including single word requests), descriptive linguistics, the formation and deflation of standard dialects, rhetoric, and anything requiring archival or corpus research. I like to get my hands dirty with words, and think there is inherent value in trying to explain how language functions.
I am American. Based on self-assessments, my dialect shares features with Southern American English and Appalachian English. However, I show thorough intermixing with the Midwestern dialects common in oral media, and my education has effectively standardized my speech and writing save in contexts where I deliberately code-switch for emphasis. In accent, I can put on a few accents faithfully but otherwise I'm hard to place. I've been called English while in the UK and just about everything while in the US.
I took this quiz and used my imperfect IPA skills (and frequent reference to dictionaries) to represent how I think I pronounce several words. Three things I found:
I'm pretty noncomittal when multiple pronunciations are possible. I still switch up caramel.
Sometimes the lines between, say, /a/, /ɑ/ and /æ/ or between /ɪ/ and /ɛ/, are pretty flexible. (I don't think I distinguish pin and pen, for instance.)
For words with an optional /j/ (like after the /k/ in coupon), I tend to omit them unless I'm speaking very slowly for emphasis.
Aunt /ænt/ or /ant/
Route /rut/ or /raʊt/
Salmon /ˈsamən/ or /’sæmən/
Caramel /ˈkɑrməl/, /ˈkarəm(ə)l/
Data /ˈdædə/ or /ˈdeɪdə/
New Orleans /nu ˈɔrlənz/
Pecan /pəˈkɑn/ or /piˈkɑn/
Spitting image /’spɪtn ˈɪmɪdʒ/
Mayonnaise /’mæneɪz/ (but for mayo /ˈmeɪoʊ/)
Syrup /ˈsərəp/ (possibly closer to /ˈsɪ/ for emphasis)
Caught /kɑt/ (caught-cot sound the same)
Envelope /ˈɛnvəˌloʊp/, or for emphasis /ˈɑnvəˌloʊp/
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