Pronunciation: "o" in dog and hot

yuxi24

Member
China,Chinese
Hi everyone:
I read a sentence in the book"American accent training":
We don't differentiate between [ä]and [)].The [ä] pronounced ah.The backwards C [)]is more or less pronounced aw.This aw sound has a "back East" sound to it, and as it's not common to the entire United States,
it won't be included here.
Dose the sentence means : the letter "o" has the same pronouncition in the two words "dog" and "hot" in American English? But many dictionaries says the pronouncitions of "o" in "dog" and "hot" are different.
Thanks.
 
  • I would pronounce them the same and I am from the southwest. I would say both as "ah". But on the east coast (NYC? Boston) you would likely be like "haht dawg".

    Personally, I would say if you go with the ah/ah pronunciation it will make your life easier... But that's just my opinion.
     

    LV4-26

    Senior Member
    Well, my Concise Oxford says /dɒg/ for dog and /hɒt/ for hot. Same sound, which I pronounce as a short, open 'o'. (but then I could hardly be taken as a model regarding American pronounciation :)).
     

    Orange Blossom

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    I, and everyone else I know, pronounce hot and dog with different vowel sounds. This includes people from Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

    Hot I pronounce with the ah sound, and dog with the aw sound. Now people from the East Coast and in areas of Canada, pronounce hot and many other words with more of the aw sound.

    Orange Blossom
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Now people from the East Coast and in areas of Canada, pronounce hot and many other words with more of the aw sound.
    Which people from the East Coast? Floridians? Folks from South Carolina or Rhode Island?

    Such broad generalizations are less than instructive.

    There are well over one hundred million residents in states on the East Coast. I suppose they all sound alike to someone from 'the heartland'.
     

    cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    I'm a native New Yorker and long-time resident of western Massachusetts. The word, "dog," is the only monosyllable ending in og that I know that is pronounced with the vowel sound of the double "o" in "door." I have tried to find a suitable rhyme for "dog," but none occur to me.
    Bog, cog, fog, agog, hog, log, --all use the "ah" sound.
     

    Orange Blossom

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    Which people from the East Coast? Floridians? Folks from South Carolina or Rhode Island?

    Such broad generalizations are less than instructive.

    There are well over one hundred million residents in states on the East Coast. I suppose they all sound alike to someone from 'the heartland'.
    :eek: No, they don't all sound alike to me. Sorry for the over-generalization. So, to amend: Some people from the East Coast. :)

    Orange Blossom
     

    LV4-26

    Senior Member
    I think we've managed to establish, through Orange Blossom's and cyberpdedant's inputs on the one hand, throught LRV's and mine on the other (with badgrammar's in the "oecumenic" position ;)) , that the 'o' in dog

    - is generally pronounced as in hot in (Southern?) BE, i.e. as a short open 'o'.

    - vary from the sound in hot to the sound in door (long closed 'o') in AE, depending on the speaker's location. And probably with a lot of intermediate degrees between those two extremes.
     

    giannid

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I sound them differently too, like Orange Blossom said. My Webster's pocket dictionary lists different pronunciation for the two words:

    hot [hät] (ä as in car)
    dog [dôg] (ô as in horn)
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    I am from central Arkansas, born here in 1951, and I pronounce dog, frog, log, hog, and office with the same open aw sound, more open than in the close aw in door, core, horse, and hoarse (which all have the same close aw sound). Hot, stop, father, chocolate (the 1st o), and dollar I pronounce with an ah sound, definitely not an aw, but not as open as the ah sound I've heard in Michigan, which we just don't use. All three are unusual among vowels around here in that they are pure vowels, not diphthongs or triphthongs.

    The vowel of the word on, however is a diphthong, beginning with the aw of hog, maybe a little nasalized, and ending with a schwa.

    I pronounce the word fog with either sound, monophthong aw or ah, depending, I suppose, on how dense the fog is.

    I only use the close aw sound before r in the same syllable, so that oral has a closer aw than aural.

    I am not sure how unusual this is, but I do have a few rather peculiar vowels: three different l-colored vowels in bull, dull, and little and a vowel that begins a lot like French an but a little more centralized and ends with a schwa, in one, won, and want. This is not the uh sound of wonder (another pure vowel) or the ah sound of wander put is pretty much peculiar to these three words.

    I usually pronounce envelope using en as in enter (which I would have pronounced as in before sixth grade, but with the vowel of bed after sixth grade - I had a good teacher), but sometimes with ahn as in Kahn or con-artist when I want to sound like my father.
     

    Orange Blossom

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    Just wanted to add a few comments after reading forero's post which was very interesting.

    r's and l's affect the vowels preceding them. However, many of us notice the affect by the r's more than the l's. I have seen entire textbooks on r-shaped vowels.

    W's affect the vowels that precede them in part because of the vowel-like qualities in the w sound.
    -----------
    Hot, stop, father, chocolate (the 1st o), and dollar I pronounce with an ah sound
    Same here, except I pronounce the first vowel in chocolate like the aw sound in dog and bog.

    Orange Blossom
     

    Hockey13

    Senior Member
    AmEnglish/German
    I say haht dawg and I grew up in northern New Jersey. The o --> aw thing is one of the only defining characteristics of what's left of my Jersey accent. People can tell I'm from New Jersey because of it.

    I personally think this thread is a waste of time. The author of that book casually dismisses the standard pronunciation of a significant portion of this country just because it has a "back East" sound to it. I call bullshit:warn: on the guy who is obviously not from "back East." Boy does that ever infuriate me. Pronounce it "hawt dawg" if you want to sound like you're from Dorchester, pronounce it "haht dawg" if you want to sound like you're from New Jersey, or pronounce it "haht dahg" if you want to sound like you're not from "back East," whatever that means. It's really up to you. I have personally never met a Chinese native who pronounces it "hawt dawg" or "haht dawg" (maybe because the pronunciations are difficult), but you can do whatever you want. There is no standard on this issue.
     

    LV4-26

    Senior Member
    Just in case it would help, the two sounds in question are...
    /ɒ/ as in hot, shot, log, not,
    and
    /ɔː/ as in door, more, short, four, naught,
    ... in IPA, respectively represented by 'ah' and 'aw' in your posts.

    The relevant "minimal pairs" could be...
    not or shot --->
    /nɒt/ /ɒt/

    versus naught or short ---> /nɔːt / /ɔːt/
    ...if you like...

    Keeping in mind that, for some words like dog and possibly innumerable others, there must be an inifinite number of variations between those two vowel sounds (both in AE and BE), but that we obviously do not have enough signs available (even if we made them up) to represent them.

    As a sidenote, I find this particularly handy. Not necessarily for this specific thread (not enough flexibility obviously) but in general. But I wouldn't force any one to use it. :)



     
    That is handy, LV, I wish I remembered more from my phonetics classes waaay back when! In any case it is also helpful to remember that the sounds we make are not necessarily as distinct and clear-cut as we might think. Simple variations in the position of the tongue, and opening of the mouth push the sounds backwards, forwards, up and down, so that variations in all speech sounds are on a continuum, as opposed to a "set" and immutable vision of speech sounds... Did that make any sense? ;)
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    Just in case it would help, the two sounds in question are...
    /ɒ/ as in hot, shot, log, not,
    and
    /ɔː/ as in door, more, short, four, naught,
    ... in IPA, respectively represented by 'ah' and 'aw' in your posts.
    In American English the distinction usually involved is between /ɑ/ and /ɔ/. In the US there are regional differences concerning when one says /ɑ/ and when one says /ɔ/. One discussion of that is shown here. That page uses Kirshenbaum ASCII IPA, in which /A/, /A./, and /O/ represent /ɑ/, /ɒ/, and /ɔ/, respectively. I was surprised to see /ɒ/ used in describing an American accent. I did some further research. Curiously, a variant pronunciation for father using an a with a dot over it for /ɒ/ is given in my 1981 Webster's Collegiate, but that variant, and the a with a dot over it, are not present in the 11th edition.
     

    Orange Blossom

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    the two sounds in question are...
    /ɒ/ as in hot, shot, log, not,
    and
    /ɔː/ as in door, more, short, four, naught,
    ... in IPA, respectively represented by 'ah' and 'aw' in your posts.
    I pronounce the vowel in "log" like "dog" and "bog" /ɔ/ , but not like "hot", "shot" and "not" /ɑ/ (The symbol I learned is bit less curved) . I pronounce the a in father so it sounds like /ɑ/ .

    Orange Blossom
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    In American English the distinction usually involved is between /ɑ/ and /ɔ/. In the US there are regional differences concerning when one says /ɑ/ and when one says /ɔ/. One discussion of that is shown here. That page uses Kirshenbaum ASCII IPA, in which /A/, /A./, and /O/ represent /ɑ/, /ɒ/, and /ɔ/, respectively. I was surprised to see /ɒ/ used in describing an American accent. I did some further research. Curiously, a variant pronunciation for father using an a with a dot over it for /ɒ/ is given in my 1981 Webster's Collegiate, but that variant, and the a with a dot over it, are not present in the 11th edition.
    As another variant to throw into the mix, there is a Southern pronunciation that sounds like both of these vowels strung together and drawled. :)

    dog = "dah-oog"
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    In my case, /ɑ/ is my "ah" (hock), /A./ is my open "aw" (hawk), and /o/ is my close "aw" (horse and hoarse). I would accept /O/ as open "aw" also, if it is further back than inverted v. (Sorry I don't have IPA on my keyboard).

    My take on "dawg" is that it may represent a diphthongized pronunciation (such as my mother's pronunciation of "dog": /dA.og/ approximately).
     

    NileQT87

    Member
    USA, English
    And "haht da'owg" if you are from the deep south. :)

    I'm from southern California, so my pronunciation is "haht dahg".

    It is really up to you with which accent you wish to imitate, because there really isn't a standard. Californians are throat-speakers, whereas some people in other states are more nasal. In the south there is the famous southern drawl (Elvis Presley is the most famous example of Mississippi/Tennessee)--and within just the south there are different dialects (those from "N'orlins" for example). And then there is the famous mafia-stereotype voice of New York/New Jersey, not to mention various other dialects. Here's a favorite: native speakers from Missouri pronounce their state "Missoura" and say "worsh" instead of "wash". Chicago has a very distinct sound as well.

    And that is without mentioning all the accents among the British, Scottish, Irish and Australians. Crikey.
     

    Hockey13

    Senior Member
    AmEnglish/German
    And then there is the famous mafia-stereotype voice of New York/New Jersey, not to mention various other dialects.
    The lack of understanding between New York and New Jersey accents is one of the reasons the Sopranos was able to get away with some of the accent stuff they got away with. Some of them were genuine Jersey accents, but others were far too NY for my ear, even Long Island at times.

    My point is that there are an ungodly number of variations. There is even a variation in the pronunciation of "dog" between Essex County, NJ, Hudson County, NJ, Manhasset, NY, and Brooklyn, NY.
     

    lizzeymac

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    And then there are some New Yorkers who don't sound anything like the Sopranos. Hockey13 is is correct, the Sopranos accents were all over the map of NY/NJ, a few had Philly accents!

    I say hot like chocolate - the ah sound
    I say dog like naught - an aw sound, but more "o" sounding than a New Jersey accent.
     
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