Items in Geordie THOUGHT Lexical Set subgroup with <al>

asked 2020-11-14 12:09:06 -0500

A number of sources say that that Tyneside/Geordie accent of Northumbria features a subset of the Lexical Set THOUGHT with the <al> spelling that should be pronounced with [a] rather than [ɔ]. Based on what I've read online and in Hughes/Trudgill/Watt's "English Accents and Dialects" it's a pretty limited group of words.

I've tried to sum it up like this:

<-al> Split: In the Northumberland accent known as Geordie or Tyneside, from Newcastle-on-Tyne, THOUGHT is split, creating a sub-group with words spelled with:

· <-al> as in those words with silent <l> before <k>: talk, walk, balk, baulk, caulk, chalk, stalk, staulk;

· <al-> stem words, such as also, almost, always, although, altogether, albeit;

· <-all> words, such as all, small, call, wall, mall, ball, hall, fall;

· <-aul> words, such as Paul, haul, hydraulics, Saul, fault, maul, tarpaulin, gault, cauldron;

· as well as those words already identified in thought Ⓑ, aka the so-called SALT Set.

In this accent, these words take [a] rather than [ɔ], which continues to be used for all other THOUGHT words. While THOUGHT Ⓑ/SALT these days is merged with LOT in much of the south of England, here it is merged with TRAP/BATH.

SO, here's my question: Am I right about the words with <au> as in chaulk, staulk, Paul, haul, etc.? Those are never mentioned anywhere in my reading; I'm just extrapolating the possibility that they might also take [a]. Anyone have any firsthand knowledge of this?

Thanks in advance!

Eric Armstrong [email protected]

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