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Does everyone pronounce these the same way? (I mean all 4 words - not American vs. English)

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    Heck, everyone doesn't even pronounce "or" the same way.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 6, 2015 at 1:15
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    Obviously awe is pronounced different from the other three in rhotic dialects (including most American ones). There’s no difference between the other three to me. Feb 6, 2015 at 1:15
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    I think everybody pronounces ore and oar the same (although I'm sure somebody will contradict me now that I've said that). Some Americans (I used to be one of them) pronounce or like are. (See Merriam-Webster.) And awe doesn't have an /r/. Feb 6, 2015 at 1:19
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    And of course, since or is usually unstressed, its vowel is frequently reduced, leaving just [ɚ] or [ɝ]. This does not happen with ore or oar. (Ask yourself this out loud: is the /ɔr/ of or the /ɔr/ of horror or ore or oar or Aurora? Now put your tongue back in your mouth.) Feb 6, 2015 at 1:27
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    @Dan No, the vast majority of speakers of non-rhotic dialects (which includes the majority of Brits) probably pronounce them all the same. Feb 6, 2015 at 2:07

3 Answers 3

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I'm from NJ and have lived a host of places. I say or, oar and ore exactly the same way. Awe has no 'r' in it. So I don't say it the same way.

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In many parts of New England (US) the four would be indistinguishable. (But that's the only area I'm aware of.)

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    Plus major parts of the UK, as well as all of South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, of course. Feb 6, 2015 at 2:09
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I'm from New South Wales, Australia and I pronounce all four of them the same. However, I had a few friends from Western Australia and they pronounced 'Or' and 'Oar' the same, but 'Ore' and 'Awe' differently. They pronounced 'Ore' like 'Or' but with a big emphasis on the 'e' and 'Awe' with a big emphasis on the 'w' like as if you would say 'Aww'.

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    How did they emphasise an e that isn't pronounced? Feb 6, 2015 at 12:33

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