How can one render in writing the difference in the English and American English?
In some cases it is easy. Toon vs tune, for example, but what about pass, grass, glass, grant, can't?
Would paess, graess, glaess. etc, be acceptable?
Is there any established way?
Sorry, if this has been discussed.
1 2
How can one render in writing the difference in the English and American English? In some cases it is easy. Toon vs tune, for example, but what about pass, grass, glass, grant, can't?

The normal ASCII-IPA representations (see the FAQ at for details) is (as reported by Jones16, 2003)
spelling BBC English GA "Network" English pass /pA:s/ /p&s/
grass /grA:s/ /gr&s/
glass /glA:s/ /gl&s/
grant /grA:nt/ /gr&nt/
can't /kA:nt/ /k&nt/
Toon not listed, but ...
toonie /'tu:ni/ /'tu:ni/
tune /tju:n/ or /tu:n/ or
/tSu:n/ /tju:n/
The diacritic for lengthened vowels ':' is often omitted, since /I E & V A. U @/ are almost always short in BBC English (was 'PSP' or 'RP') /i A O u V"/ are almost always long in BBC English and dipthongs /eI aI OI @U aU [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]/ are naturally long;

/I E & V U @/ are almost always lax (or short) in GA, /i A O V" u eI oU/ are almost always tense in GA,
wide dipthongs /aU aI OI/ are naturally long, and
the it is pointless to discuss this for r-colored /@r @ V"r V" and R/ retroflex vowels.
Exceptions are for /i/, where the final sound in is neither /I/ nor /i:/ but the shorter /i/. and long vowels before /p t k tS f T s S/ where they are much shorter ('half-long').
Would paess, graess, glaess. etc, be acceptable?

Not really. The ae ligature would work better than your two-character combination, but it's not available in the standard ASCII set. Since both SAMPA and ASCII-IPA use /&/ for this, it seems reasonable to use that choice. Worse is the use of a doubled /s/ in your form. The sound is a single /s/ (and a better way of writing a long consonant is the same as for vowels: /s:/ rather than /ss/).
Is there any established way?

See above.
Sorry, if this has been discussed.

Long ago and to death. Much work has gone into this with our own Evan Kirshenbaum in the van. Try checking the FAQ and following the newsgroup before posting to a newsgroup.

Martin Ambuhl
} How can one render in writing the difference in the English and } American English?
Brother Martin has kindly answered the question with respect to posting in alt.usage.english, but I'm suspecting that we're talking about someone speaking English with a minority accent trying to ridicule the majority accent, so let's take it here from that point of view (but skip this if Brother Martin's explanation is more your cup of tea). I'm guessing from that sentence that it's a recently learned language, to boot, so I'll be gentle.
} In some cases it is easy. Toon vs tune, for example,

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! You think that one is easy? Don't count on people recognizing a difference in pronunciation from the written form, and don't count on the same difference you may notice.
} but what about } pass, grass, glass, grant, can't?
}
} Would paess, graess, glaess. etc, be acceptable?

No. But consider "parse, grarse, glarse, grarnt, and "carn't". (Then reject them, because the only people they might work for don't need them.)
} Is there any established way?
In regular writing? I don't think so. Why would someone want to?

If you want to give a hint and let people guess for themselves, either spell things the French way and throw in an "indeed" every time you use the word "very" or spell things the Latin way and just say it straight out.
For posting to alt.usage.english? Yes, indeed. See either the FAQ file and supplements and intros at http://www.alt-usage-english.org or Brother Martin's excellent response.
} Sorry, if this has been discussed.
Okay, this time.

R. J. Valentine
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
A bit harsh, there, Martin. He said "render in writing", and, let's face it, few non-linguistics-or-EFL/ESL-trained readers know the IPA from Russian.
The question was a fair one, and it's not covered by the FAQ.

(Note to the OP: Search this group for "eye dialect" and you'll read more than you ever would have thought it humanly possibly to discuss on this subject.)
**
Ross Howard
How can one render in writing the difference in the ... for example, but what about pass, grass, glass, grant, can't?

The normal ASCII-IPA representations (see the FAQ at for details) is (as reported by Jones16, 2003) spelling ... /grA:nt/ /gr&nt/ can't /kA:nt/ /k&nt/ Toon not listed, but ... toonie /'tu:ni/ /'tu:ni/ tune /tju:n/ or /tu:n/ or /tSu:n/ /tju:n/

Here's the Postwar New York City Prestige, the foundation for Early 21st Century American RP, FWIW:
pass /p&^s/
grass /gr&^s/
glass /gl&^s/
grant /gr&^nt/
can't /k&^nt/
toon /tun/
tune /tun/
I wouldn't expect to hear /tjun/ for "tune" from too many contemporary GenAm broadcasters, but there are still plenty who say /njuz/ instead of /nuz/.
/&^/ is the "tense short a" of "can" = "tin can". /& / (not occurring in these examples) is the "lax short a" of stressed "can" = "be able". Yes, "can't" has the "tin can" vowel, not the "be able" vowel.
/I E & V U @/ are almost always lax (or short) in GA,

I'm not so sure about that wrt /&/. Seems to me that GenAm has tense /&/ that is, most GenAm type dialects use a vowel that sounds awfully tense to New York speakers who have the lax a/tense a phonemic distinction. This isn't just a Northern Cities Shift thing; you hear it in the /&/ of Western U.S. speakers (cf. the last vowel of "Robert Elwood Cunningham", which seems rather tense to me). I'd want to see what Dinkin would say about that, tho'.
I'm not so sure about that wrt /&/. Seems to me that GenAm has tense /&/ that is, most ... "Robert Elwood Cunningham", which seems rather tense to me). I'd want to see what Dinkin would say about that, tho'.

It's my understanding that in U.S. dialects that don't have a tense-/&^/ versus lax-/& / distinction, /&/ is usually tense in all contexts for Northern Cities speakers, and tense before nasals and lax elsewhere for other speakers. It may be tense in all contexts for Southern speakers also; I don't know as much about southern accents as I should. By "tense" in this context I mean 'closer to ([email protected]) or ([email protected]) than Emotion: dog'.

-Aaron J. Dinkin
Dr. Whom
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
I'm not so sure about that wrt /&/. Seems to ... want to see what Dinkin would say about that, tho'.

It's my understanding that in U.S. dialects that don't have a tense-/&[/nq]^/
versus lax-/& / distinction, /&/ is usually tense in all contexts for Northern Cities speakers, and tense before nasals and ... about southern accents as I should. By "tense" in this context I mean 'closer to ([email protected]) or ([email protected]) than Emotion: dog'.

That seems to be consistent with what I've heard of Western United States speakers. The /&/ in "Robert Elwood Cunningh([email protected])m" precedes /m/. OTOH, I think some have observed that Bob Cunningham's recording of "can a cat man a catamaran" contains rather uniform-sounding /&/s. I haven't heard it in a while.
That seems to be consistent with what I've heard of Western United States speakers. The /&/ in "Robert Elwood Cunningh([email protected])m" ... Cunningham's recording of "can a cat man a catamaran" contains rather uniform-sounding /&/s. I haven't heard it in a while.

I just listened to "can a cat..." again, and it's my opinion that all the pre-nasal /&/s are ([email protected]). The /&/ in "cat" sounds a little higher than the first one in "catamaran", but I'm willing to attribute that to momentary variation, and in any case it doesn't seem as high as that in "man".
-Aaron J. Dinkin
Dr. Whom
It's my understanding that in U.S. dialects that don't have atense-/&[/nq]^/
versus lax-/& / distinction, /&/ is usually tense in all contextsfor Northern Cities speakers, and tense before nasals and lax ... much about southern accents as I should. By"tense" in this context I mean 'closer to ([email protected]) or ([email protected]) than Emotion: dog'.

What would you mean by "tense" and "lax" in general? There's nothing intrinsically "lax" about the IPA symbol Emotion: dog, is there?

There's some sort of common feature that I feel my /i/, /o/, /e/ and /u/ (except the allophones before /r/) have, which I think might be some sort of "tenseness". But I'm really not sure about this. Any idea?
Jonathan
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Show more