General Question

Strauss's avatar

If "A" as in "apple" is a short "A", and "A" as in "Ace" is a long "A", what is "A" as in "father' called?

Asked by Strauss (20845points) 4 weeks ago

I’m sure I must have learned it in school, but c’mon, that was over 50 years ago!

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

27 Answers

janbb's avatar

Ah don’t rightly know!

Glambarber's avatar

The “a” in “father” is a long version of the “a” in “apple”. The “a” in “ace” is a different sound and not a “long” version of the other “a” sound.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Broad “A”

Strauss's avatar

Ahh! That’s it, @Tropical_Willie!

Ah’d lahk ta thahnk all of y’all who trahed ta ahnsah!

Demosthenes's avatar

What about the “a” in “ago” or “pizza”? :)

zenvelo's avatar

@Demosthenes The a in ago or pizza is schwa.

Demosthenes's avatar

I don’t remember learning the term “schwa” as a young kid so I was wondering if there was some other name it was called, but I don’t think it was covered at all (from what I can remember of 1st grade phonics, which is not much). I remember a chart with symbols: ă for “short a”, ā for “long a”, and ä for “broad a”. I think this system is used in some dictionaries (instead of IPA).

zenvelo's avatar

^^^^ I learned about schwa when I had phonics in first grade (along with murmur dipthongs) but I went to an excellent school for first and second grade.

Demosthenes's avatar

That’s quite advanced! Wish my school had taught that. Schools probably teach this stuff better now than they did back in the day. At least I hope so.

janbb's avatar

I was never taught phonics.

zenvelo's avatar

@Demosthenes I learned it in the early 1960’s; I don’t think schools teach much phonics ; my kids didn’t really learn phonics the way I did,

Demosthenes's avatar

I didn’t know that. I just assumed it was a given for most. I know there’s some debate as to the utility of phonics vs. other methods.

dxs's avatar

How about the “a” in “ant” or “answer”?

zenvelo's avatar

@dxs The “a” in ant or answer is a textbook example of a short a.

janbb's avatar

@zenvelo You certainly know your “As”! Were you a supporter of Oakland by any chance?

zenvelo's avatar

^^^^Ha! Always a Giants fan. Never an “Athletics” supporter!

janbb's avatar

^^ Glad to know you were never an athletic supporter!

dxs's avatar

“Ant” and “apple” have different “a” sounds.

Demosthenes's avatar

In standard American English, they don’t. Both are /æ/, the near-low front unrounded vowel, called in phonics terms “short a”. What dialect of English do you speak? I know these two words would have different vowel sounds in New Zealand English and maybe some American dialects as well.

Glambarber's avatar

What is the difference between the “a” sound in “ant” and the “a” sound in “apple”? They are the same where I come from.

dxs's avatar

“How I say ant”:https://www.dictionary.com/browse/ant?s=t vs. “How I say apple”: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/apple?s=t. And note that the IPA is the same for both a sounds!

zenvelo's avatar

@dxs So you just proved what we told you before, it is the same short a sound.

You may be confused because the a in apple is pronounced as its own syllable, (“a-pul”) while the a in ant blends into the “n”.

Demosthenes's avatar

In the narrowest phonetic transcription, the /æ/ in “ant” is nasalized, per English pronunciation rules. Regardless, the vowels in both words have the same quality.

Glambarber's avatar

The “a” in “ant” is not really nasalised in English like it is in French. It’s still the same sound as the “a” in “apple”. It’s the “n” in “ant” that’s nasal, not the “a”.

Demosthenes's avatar

Nasal vowels are not phonemic in English like they are in French, but the presence of an /n/ following a vowel nasalizes the preceding vowel in some dialects. It is actually more prevalent in American English than in many British dialects.

dxs's avatar

I’m laughing at myself trying to pronounce them the same. Ahhhnt! Or is it supposed to be ayapple?

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