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Is there an English accent which would distinguish these two sentences?

  • He rode from the bridge to the pier.
  • He rowed from the bridge to the pier.
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2  
Don't forget road. –  Matt Эллен Apr 14 '12 at 10:00
3  
What do you hope to learn if someone answers "yes, this dialect/accent"? –  Matt Эллен Apr 14 '12 at 11:01
    
I'm curious if there is a way to pronounce these words unambiguously so a discerning listener could tell them apart. Of course it would be very subtle. –  Anthony Faull Apr 14 '12 at 11:35
1  
Personally I think I use a shorter vowel sound in "rode" but that may just be me. FWIW. –  Wudang Apr 14 '12 at 11:53
1  
He rose from the pier to the bridge. He rows from the pier to the bridge. Heroes, from the pier to the bridge. (Rose/rows and rode/rowed/road all sound quite homophonous to my American ear). –  J.R. Apr 14 '12 at 22:02

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

For most English dialects, there is no difference in pronunciation between rowed and rode, and so there would be no "way to pronounce these words unambiguously so a discerning listener could tell them apart."

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The Lancashire English accent appears to be the same as the observation that Bidella has made of the Australian dialect - i.e. the "o" in rode is slightly shorter, and in "rowed" there is also a slight "w" sound in the word. On the other hand rode and road are pronounced identically.

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Speaking as an Australian, I know that down here, there is a slight difference.

Pardon me, I don't know how to use those symbols to depict pronunciation, but I'll try my best to describe the difference.

The "o" in "rode" is slightly shorter.

The "o" in "rowed" is slightly longer and more "rounded". That's the best expression I could come up with, "rounded". There's like a kind of slight "w" sound at the end of the long "o" sound.

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