A problem regarding the exact majorant by Khavinson S.Y.

By Khavinson S.Y.

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The local reflex of old is generally diphthongal, merging with LOUP. It shares this feature with a number of Northern Isles dialects. 2 Insular Scots In general, Insular Scots maintains a distinction between COT and CAUGHT, and between the latter and TRAP. 37 CAUGHT in Insular Scots CAUGHT Shetland Near-merger with COT and GOAT; move towards merger with TRAP Southern Shetland: merged with COT and GOAT; move towards merger with TRAP Orkney Near-merger with COT and GOAT; move towards merger with TRAP employed can be associated with a variety of pronunciations, front or back, low or high, perhaps the most strikingly different of which being the [ε ] found in North Ronaldsay and the [ɒ ] of southern Shetland (Johnston 1997: 489).

35 GOAT in Insular Scots GOAT Shetland General move towards merger with CAUGHT Southern Shetland: merged with COT and CAUGHT Orkney General move towards merger with CAUGHT In Insular Scots, COT and GOAT are almost completely merged, except in a number of contexts in Orcadian in particular, especially before /r/, as with ford, /ford/, in distinction to cord, /kɔrd/. When they are distinguished, this appears to be largely due to borrowing from SSE. : 479). 12 CAUGHT In most forms of SSE, CAUGHT and COT (including their rhotic subsets) are, unlike most varieties of English, merged, in a vowel /ɔ/.

On the other hand, there is also a tendency towards a //, rather than /i/ pronunciation before /k/ with some MEET words. In the North-East, week is /wk/. The BEAT word speak is also regularly merged with KIT. 17 MEET in Insular Scots MEET Shetland Some merger with BEAT die, fly, lie clean stane ‘stone’ Fair Isle: egg Orkney Some merger with BEAT die, fly, lie, king, kick, swim clean stane ‘stone’ PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY 31 In the Northern Isles, MEET is generally /i/. Johnston (1997: 455) reports that ‘there are some cases of unraised [e] before labials in the northernmost dialects’, so that heel and hale may be homophones.

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