A brief remark is that I am a "Georgia speaker with northern Florida influences".

A more explanatory remark is that I grew up in suburban Atlanta. I moved to Gainesville, Florida, for my last three years of high school and four years of undergraduate school. I then returned to Atlanta where I have lived for the past sixteen years.

While living in Florida, I purposefully changed the way I pronounced the long-u sound after the consonants d, n, and t. Originally, I pronounced do, new, and tube as /du/, /nu/, and /tub/, but, I convinced myself that /dju/, /nju/, and /tjub/ were better pronunciations, and I use those to this day. This transition did not change the way I pronounced beauty /bjuti/, cue /kju/, chew /tSu/, few /fju/, hue /hju/, Jew /dZu/, Luke /luk/, mu /mju/, pew /pju/, rude /rud/, Sue /su/ or Zulu /zulu/.

I have been in several church choirs where directors have had their varying ideas about pronunciation. The "r" sound was always a subject of major concern. As a result, in my day-to-day speech, I consciously try to match the level of r-coloration of vowels used by the one to whom I am speaking; among my family and co-workers, I generally use slight r-coloration, but I will usually drop post-vocalic r completely when making a formal presentation.

Comments about my speech:

Post-vocalic L usually results as not much L at all--it's more of a modification of the previous vowel to have a /w/ after it. E.g., "Hal" and "how" sound more or less the same /h&w;/ [my knowledge of phonetic alphabets /'&wf;@bEts/ is not thorough enough to make any written distinction]. My "I'll" /aw/ sounds like a Briton's "ow". Trying to speak more distinctly, I sometimes might say "I'll" as /'aijl-/ (two syllables: ai jl-), but my pronunciation is futile /'fju,taw/ or /'fju,taijl-/ or /'fjutl-/, even though my mental target pronunciation is /'fju,tail/.

In casual speech, "aw" in "lawyer" and "law" are two different sounds: "law" sounds like "la" (the musical note), and is /A/. The "aw" in "lawyer" (and "aw" in "law" when I'm especially trying to speak distinctly) is /A./ (rounded version of A), and is distinct from "or" which is /O/ [upside-down c in normal IPA]. Similarly, cot and caught are usually both /kAt/, but, when I'm trying to make a distinction, I'll say cot /kAt/ and caught /kA.t/. Court and Quart are both /kOt/ or /kOrt/ or something like that (really want a puny superscript upside-down r after the upside-down c).

This HTML file was created 16 September 2000, 17:00 GMT