"or at " vs "a right"

nguyen dung

Senior Member
Vietnamese
I hear somewhere "or at" as "a right" but not "a rat".Why is there a short "i" sound in "a(i)t"?And the "flag" as "fla(i)g". Why there is a strange sound like that?Can we make a mono into dipthong sound?
 
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  • nguyen dung

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese
    It in audio book Developing Tictacs Listening Unit 3:"When you finish with the car, do you want to leave it in the city or at the airport?"And the word "flag" in the audio book: The old man and the sea: page 1
    "The sail was patched with flour sacks and, furled, it looked like the flag of permanent defeat."
    It is AE accent but I do not know who speak it.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thanks. Without actually hearing them, I can only assume that it's either something in the speaker's accent/dialect, or something peculiar to just this speaker, or you've misheard it.

    Maybe an AE speaker can offer a better guess.


    Does the narrator of the audio book do this with all words with a 'short A'? Does he or she do it with 'patched' and 'sacks', for instance?
     

    nguyen dung

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese
    I do not know because each Unit is read by different people

    I would like to ask whether some time we dipthonglize a sound?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Yes, that can happen in some American accents. It's just one more variation in U.S. English.
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Both phrases are used to express the phrases “all right”. They are slang. So or at means all right as does a right.
    When you write "or at", is this simply eye-dialect, or do you mean that the person deliberately says (and writes) these words?

    Note that "all right" has various dialect pronunciations in Britain. I am sure that these will be different from the US ones.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It's likely a Southern U.S. accent, from the description, but only listening to it will really tell.

    Research Guides: Dialect Guide - American Dialects: Southern Dialects

    Coastal/Lowland Southern English​

    This is the “classic southern” accent that you typically see in films about Civil War or Plantation life. In contemporary times, the accent is arguably dying out.

    Prominent Features:
    • Vowel breaking. This means that in words with short vowels like cat and dress, these vowels can turn into diphthongs (or even triphthongs). So cat can become IPA kæjət for example (i.e. “ka-jut”).
    This is also a feature of the more widespread Southern inland/mountain accent.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    And the word "flag" in the audio book: The old man and the sea: page 1
    "The sail was patched with flour sacks and, furled, it looked like the flag of permanent defeat."
    It is AE accent but I do not know who speak it.
    Mr. Nguyen had another thread about this word "flag", including an audioclip. At least 2 of us English speakers listened and we agreed that it sounded like "flag", clearly and distinctly spoken. It wasn't a dialect -- the audiobook was very clear English, spoken by a trained speaker.

    "When you finish with the car, do you want to leave it in the city or at the airport?"

    The audio portion of "Developing Tactics For Listening, Unit 3" uses speakers with various BE and AE accents. The "Unit 3 Audio" that I downloaded didn't have this sentence in it, but it seems possible that the speaker distorted the sound of "or at" in some way. A fluent English speaker would automatically correct that mistake, not even noticing it. A student of English would notice it.

    Developing | Tactics for Listening Third Edition | Oxford University Press
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    In the word "flag", think about the influence of the final "g".
    The [ æ ] is a "low front vowel" (referring to the position of the tongue).
    From that position, the tongue must move to a high back position for the [ g ].
    During that move, the tongue passes through an intermediate sound,
    which is the glide, or semivowel, that you hear in "flag".
    Without the "g"—as in "flat" or "flap"—you don't get the intermediate semivowel.
     
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