English pronunciation

dihydrogen monoxide

Senior Member
Slovene, Serbo-Croat
When did this register of English develop and is it still spoken? Some of the features are

a) BE /ou/ in brought pronunciation is used in the word off
b) /a/ in glad is pronounced in a way more with a falling tone
c) mare and mayor sound the same
 
  • sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    a) There were some people using that pronunciation eighty years ago, but I think it has died out.
    b) I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean.
    c) I pronounce those two words identically.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    A long time ago, but I don't know when, short [ɒ] (the vowel of 'hot') changed and lengthened to [ɔ:] (the vowel of 'brought') before the three voiceless fricatives [f θ s], so we got an 'aw' sound in words like off, cloth, cross. Later - I'd imagine it was the late nineteenth century, but I'm not sure - the middle class reverted to [ɒ] in such words, giving the usual modern pronunciation. But the [ɔ:] pronunciation awff, clawth, crawss persists to some extent in both upper and lower class pronunciations.

    Like sound shift, I don't understand what you mean about 'glad'. The only phonetic point about this word, that I know of, is that for many speakers (including me), adjectives 'glad', 'bad', 'sad' have a longer version of the vowel than nouns like 'pad', 'dad', 'cad'.

    'Mare' and 'mayor' are the same in, I believe, the standard and majority BrE accent, but some speakers use a kind of 'may' vowel in 'mayor'. I don't know the history of these forms.
     

    dihydrogen monoxide

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Serbo-Croat
    With glad I mean when in old movies they would say I say ol' chap, and the /a/ in chap is pronounced differently than it is today.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Are you thinking of a pronunciation of "chap" that sounded more like "chep"?
     

    pollohispanizado

    Senior Member
    Inglés canadiense
    With glad I mean when in old movies they would say I say ol' chap, and the /a/ in chap is pronounced differently than it is today
    You really need to specify who said it, when and where they were from, and what dialect you are comparing it to. English vowels are notoriously labile and differ greatly between dialects (just in and around London there is a good handful of very different accents).
     
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