Make a high quality tape recording of yourself saying these words. Identify each line by saying "One, 'A'"; then "One, 'B'"; then "One, 'C'", etc.

1.a. "newer" "Moore" "Coors" "poor" "you're" "sure"
  b. "nor" "more" "cores" "pour" "your" "shore"
  c. "sure" "shore" "tour" "tore" "pour" "poor"

2.a. "weigh'er" "mayor" "Bayer" "day'r "stay'r"
  b. "ware" "mare" "bare" "dare" "stair"
  c. "day'r" "dare" "Bayer" "bare" "stay'r" "stair"

3.a. "paints" "rake" "ain't" "ached" "rain" "bake" canes"
  b. "pants" "rack" "ant" "act" "ran" "back" "cans"
  c. "pants" "paints"  "ant" "ain't" "canes" "cans"

4.a. "park" "hard" "starred" "bard" "guard" "card" "far"
  b. "pork" "hoard" "stored" "board" "gored" "cord" "for"
  c. "card" "cord" "stored" "starred" "pork" "park"

5.a. "guess" "Bess" "mess" "pest" "trek" "bed"
  b. "gas" "bass" "mass' "past" "track" "bad"
  c. "bad" "bed" "guess" "gas" "mass" "mess"

6.a. "many" "pen" "sender" "Benny" "Len" "swell" "rest"
  b. "mini" "pin" "cinder" "Binnie" "Lynn" "swill" "wrist"
  c. "rest" "wrist" "mini" "many" "swell" "swill"

7.a. "poet" "know it" "go it" "throw it"
  b. "pote" "note" "goat" "throat"
  c. "pote" "poet" "go it" "goat"

8.a. "look" "shook" "book" "put" "hood" "took" "stood"
  b. "luck" "shuck" "buck" "putt" "hud" "tuck" "stud"
  c. "look" "luck" "buck" "book" "stud" "stood"

9.a. "help" "pulp" "pulpit" "gulf" "golf" "welt "melt"
  b. "hep" "pup" "puppet" "guff" "goff" "wet" "met"
  c. "melt" "met" "hep" "help" "pulpit" "puppet"

10.a. "Shirley" "pearly" "curry" "sir"
   b. "surely" "poorly" "Koury" "sewer"

11.a. "bore" "know'er" "mower" "slower" "shore" "blower"
   b. "boa"  "Noah" "mow a" "slow a"  "show a" "blow a"
   c. "Noah" "know'er" "bore" "boa" "mower" "mow a"

12.a. "here" "beer" "deer" "ear""cheer" "fear"
   b. "hair" "bare" "dare" "air" "chair" "fare"
   c. "hair" "here" "beer" "bare" "chair" "cheer"

13.a. "merry" "Jerry" "Kerry" "berry" "Derry" "ferry"
   b. "Mary" "hairy" "Carey" "dairy" "fairy"
   c. "marry" "Harry" "carry" "Barry" 
   d. "merry" "Mary" "marry"

14.a. "buyer" "fire" "tire" "spire"
   b. "bar" "far" "tar" "spar"
   c. "tar" "tire" "buyer" "bar" "far" "fire"

15.a. "Tennessee" "Marie" "Colleen" "decent" "seaman's" 
   b. "Hennessy" "Murray" "Collin" "descent" "Simmons"

16.a. "da(r)n" "ha(r)d" "ca(r)d" "ha(r)k" "sta(r)k" "ca(r)t"
   b. "Dawn" "haw'd" "caw'd" "hawk" "stalk" "caught"
   c. "Don" "hod" "cod" "hock" "Stock" "cot"
   d. "darn" "Dawn" "Don" "cart" "caught" "cot"
Save your recording for playback and analysis later. The discussion which follows should help you to hear any significant dialect variations.


Using the following guide, play back each line of your tape recording and listen for what is described. If you find it difficult to be objective, ask someone whose judgment you trust to listen with you.

1.a. If most other words in the line rhyme with "newer,"
     you probably say /uer/[-c,3-s] or /ueur/[-c,5-m]. 
     If any of the final words in the line don't rhyme,
     check to see if they rhyme with words in 1.b.
1.b. These words probably rhyme witheach other and are
     said with /awr/ [-c,3-s] or /ohr/[-s/f,3-s]. Some
     of the words in 1.a. may also rhyme with these. If
     so, circle them.
1.c. These three dual sets may -- or may not -- rhyme. 
     If they do rhyme, you are probably saying /awr/ or 
     /ohr/ for all of them. If not, see 1.a. or 1.b.
{Note: in some dialect regions the /r/ or /ur/ may become
/u/ [s/d. When this happens, cue-and-say /nueu/ [4-c,5-s/d],
/poou/ [1-t,5-s/d], /pawu/ [1-c,5-s/d], etc.)

2.a. If most other words in this line rhyme with "weigh-er,"
     you probably say /ayur/ [-c,5-t,5-m] or /ayr/[-c,5-t,
     3-s]. If any of the words didn't happen to rhyme, 
     check to see if they rhyme with words in 2.b.
2.b. If these words all rhyme, you prbably say /er/ [-c,3-s]
     or /eur/ [-c,5-m]. Some of these may rhyme with words
     in 2.a. If so, circle them.
2.c. If each of the dual sets rhyme, you probably use the
     diphthong /ay/ rather consistently. {Note: In some
     dialect regions the /r/ or /ur/ may become /u/ [s/d].
     When this happens cue-and-say /wayu/ [6-c,5-t,5-s/d],
     /weu/ [6-c,5-s/d] etc.)

3.a. If the vowels in these words all rhyme, you probably say
     /ay/ [-c,5-t] although it is possible in some Southern
     dialects to use a special diphthong /a-i/ [-t,5-t].
     Those who use this special diphthong will hear little
     difference between words in 3.a. and 3.b.
3.b. If the vowels in this line all rhyme, you probably say
     /a/ [-t] in these words.
3.c. If these three dual sets rhyme, you may be using the 
     diphthong /ay/ or the special diphthong /a-i/ [-t,5-t]
     for all similar words in the set. (Note: A few dialects
     use a triphthong /ayu/ or a+iu/ for some or all of the
     words in 3.b. Examples are /payunts/./ayunt/, /rayun/,
     etc. -- but not for the words in 3.a.)

4.a. If all vowels in these words rhyme you probably say
     /ahr/ [-s/f,3-s], although some dialects omit the /r/ and
     lengthen the /ah/ instead. This /r/ omission is not 
     always consistent, so listen carefully.
4.b. If all these rhyme you are saying /awr/ [-c,3-s] or 
     possibly /ohr/ [-s/f,3-s]. Some dialects omit the /r/ or
     substitute /u/ as in the word "pork" /pohuk/ [1-s/f,
     5-s/d,2-s] or /pawuk/ [1-c,5-s/d,2-s].
4.c. If these three dual sets rhyme in your dialect you may
     be retracting the /ah/ phoneme so that it sounds like
     /aw/. What actually happens more often is that people    
     who do retract /ah/ to /aw/ maintain a meaningful dis-
     tinction between these two vowels by changing /aw/ to
     /oh/. A few examples will illustrate:
        If "park" = /pawrk/, then "pork" = /pohrk/.
        If "card" = /kawrd/, then "cord" = "kohrd/.
        If "lard" = "lawrd/, then "lord" = /lohrd/.

5.a. If all vowels rhyme you probably say /e/ [-c], although
     some dialects lengthen to a special diphthong /e+u/
     so that "guess" /ges/ becomes /ge+us/ [7-c,5-s/d,
     3-s]. Still others rhyme "guess" with "gas" - from Maine
     to Texas!
5.b. These vowels will all rhyme except for those people in
     Northern New England who may say "past" /pahst/. If
     "Yassir" doesn't rhyme, it may be that all of the other
     vowels in 5.b. are said as a special diphthong: "gas" =
     /ga+us/, etc.
5.c. These sets probably don't rhyme, but if they do you may
     be saying /a/ rather than /e/ in all of them. Cue the way
     you speak.

6.a. If all vowels rhyme you are probably saying /e/. If the
     first three of four don't rhyme with the last three(or four)
     then you may be using /i/ in "many" /mini/, etc.
6.b. If not all of the vowels rhyme perfectly, check to see 
     if the variant words are "pin," "Lynn," "swill," and
     "wrist." These single-syllable words have a special diph-
     thong /i+u/ in some dialects. "Pin" becomes /pi+un/,
     etc. People in Northern New England do this also in such
     words as "did" /di+ud/, "hid" /hi+ud/, etc.
6.c. If these four sets rhyme perfectly you probably say /i/
     and should cue accordingly.

7.a. Most Americans will rhyme all the phrases with "poet"
     /pohut/ or /pohit/, so cue accordingly [1-s/f,5-s/d,5-s]
     or [1-s/f,5-t,5-s].
7.b. These will all rhyme with the vowel /oh/ except in the 
     dialect of some Maine coast speakers who may say 
     "boat" as /bohut/ and "goat" as /gohut/.
7.c. These two sets will only rhyme in a dialect setting such
     as the one mentioned in 7.b.

8.a. Most say these words with the /oo/ [-t] vowel, but
     there are times when /uh/ [-s/d] is substituted. We have
     observed considerable cueing confusion between /oo/
     and /uh/ or /u/, so try to "hear" which one you really
     say. Special practice for this at PG-1: EF-E2.
8.b. These words generally rhyme, but in some dialects the
     /uh/ is "retracted" so that it sounds almost -- but not
     quite -- like /oo/. Don't be tricked into cueing "buck" as
     "book" by a mere allophone!
8.c. Granted, these may sound similar in some dialects, so
     decide which you actually say and cue accordingly.

9.a. If you found that you really do say the /l/ phoneme
     in your dialect for all these words, be sure to cue
     the /l/. If you don't "hear" the /l/ it may be
     because it is very retracted  in your dialect. Our
     best advice is to cue the /l/ when in doubt, because
     you are probably saying an allophonic variation.
9.b. Few will find any problems in this set which was 
     included for contrast with 9.a.
9.c. This set is deliberately randomized as a check. If
     you "hear" which words should have an /l/ sound,
     cue the /l/.

10.a. In most dialects the first vowel in each word is
     /ur/ [-m]. The /ur/ in a few dialect areas may be 
     said as the British say it -- with very little /r/
     coloring. There is a separate cue position for 
     this British /u(r)/ which is at the side rather 
     than at the mouth. But because we truly make no 
     phonemic distinction in American speech, we
     suggest that you cue /u(r)/ at the mouth -- unless
     you want to show a hearing-impaired person the 
     subtle difference between the American and British
10.b. Pronunciations within this set may vary consider-
     ably. "Surely" isn't always /shoorli/; often it is
     /shurli/[6-m.6-t]. Many say "poorly" /poorli/ as
     /pawrli/ or /pohrli/. Listen carefully to what you
     say, and cue accordingly.

11.a. If these words all rhyme precisely, it only means
     that you consistently use one of four possible
     (1) "mower" etc. = /mohur/ [5-s/f,5-m], and these
     are two-syllable words.
     (2) "mower" etc. = /mawr/ [5-c,3-s], one syllable.
     (3) "mower" etc. = /mohu/ [5-s/f,5-s/d] and these
     are two syllable words with the /r/ omitted.
     (4) "mower" etc. = /maw+u/[5-c,5-s/d, one syllable
     word with a special diphthong.
11.b. This set was included for comparison with 11.a. 
     and helps to show those of us in /r/-less dialect
     areas what happens in 11.a.
11.c. If these three sets are identical, you probably
     speak with a Northeast or Deep South dialect. Cue

12.a. If these words all rhyme you are saying /ir/ [-t,
     3-s] or /eer/ [-m,3-s] or [i+u] [-t,5-s/d] or 
     /ee+u/[-m,5-s/d]. The last two possibilities are
     special diphthongs in the Northeast and the Deep
12.b. Even if these words rhyme in your speech there
     are four possible variations:
     (1) "hair" = /her/ [3-c,3-s]
     (2) "hair" = /hayr/ [3-c,y-t,v-m]
     (3) "hair" = /hayur/ [3-c.5-t, 5-m]
     (4) "hair" = /hir/ [3-t,3-s]] or /hiu/ [3-t,5-s/d]
      especially in Eastern Massachusetts or Rhode
12.c. If these three dual sets seem to rhyme, you are
     probably speaking a dialect mentioned in 12.b.(4).
     Because the sound /i/ in /hir/ or /hiu/ is very 
     often an allophone of /e/ and could be confusing
     to the hearing impaired, we suggest that you cue
     /e/ in "hair," "bare," etc. to avoid receptive 
     errors of meaning. 

13.a. If these words all rhyme you are saying "merry"
     /meri/ [5-c,3-t] or /meree/ [5-c,3-m/ or possibly
     /muri/ [5-m,5-t]. If you say-and-cue /muri/ do not
     cue an etra /r/ at the beginning of the second
13.b. This set is bound to cause dialect confusion for
     some regions. Those who speak General American will
     probably say (and cue) "Mary" as /meri/ [5-c,3-t].
     Those from New England may say "Mary" etc. as
     /meri/ or /me+u+ri/ [5-c,5-s/d,3-t] or /me+ur+i]
13.c. This set may be said as "marry," etc. /mari/[5-t,
     3-t] or possibly /meree/ [5-c,3-m] by people north-
     west of New York City and into the Ohio Valley.
13.d. Only people from the Northeast tend to pronounce
     all three words with a different first vowel:
          "merry" = /me+ri/ [5-c,3-t]
          "Mary"  = /Meu+ri/ [5-c,5-s/d,3-t]
          "marry" = /mari/ [[5-t,3-t]
     Other U.S. dialects say "merry" and "Mary" with the
     same vowel /meri/ and "marry" is  said as /mari/, 
     while a few dialect areas pronounce all three words
     identically as /meri/. COnfusing? Not if you learn 
     to listen carefully.

14.a. If the vowels all rhyme in this set, you probably 
     cue /ier/ [-s,5-t,3-s] or /ie+ur/ [-s,5-t,5-m] or
     /ie+u/ [-s,5-t,5-s/d]. The first pronunciation is
     a one syllable utterance; the second and third are
     each two syllables.
14.b. If these all rhyme, you probably say /bahr/ [5-s/f,
     3-s] or /bah/ [5-s/f]or /bahur/[5-s/f,5-m]. See 4.b.
     and 4.c. for other variations.
14.c. If these sets rhyme, you may be from the Southwest
     where some people pronounce "tire" /tahr/ and "tar"
     /tahr] identically. Cue as you speak.
15.a. What we are trying to highlight in these two sets 
     is the vowel contrast between /ee/ and /i/. Usually
     when we stress (or accent) a syllable we say /ee/
     as in "Tennessee" -- the state, not the author Wil-
     liams or the singer Ernie Ford. However, when the
     syllable is not stressed we say /i/ as in "Hennessy"
     /Henusi/ etc. In words such as "decent" we stress the
     first syllable so it is pronounced /deesunt/; but
     in "descent" the last syllable is stressed, so we say
     /disent/. Perhaps some pairs of /ee/ - /i/ words will
     help to clarify this pronunciation (and cueing) rule:
    "Bernice" /burnees/           "Bernie" /burni/
    "Paree" /Pahree/              "Paris" /Paris/
    "Colleen" /Kawleen/           "Collin" /Kawlin/
    "deep end" /deepend/          "depend" /dipend/
    "secret" /seekrit/            "secrete" /sikreet/
    "Maurice" /Mawrees/           "Morris" /Mawris/
    "Candide" /kandeed/           "candid" /kandid/
    "settee" /setee/              "city" /siti/

16.a. People from dialect areas using the post-vocalic /r/
     in these words will have few cueing problems.
16.b. Most people will rhyme these vowels using /aw/ [-c].
16.c. People from the /r/-dialect regions (General American)
     will say these with /ah/. Northern New Englanders and
     some Southerners will have difficulty deciding whether
     to cue /aw/ or /ah/ for these words, because they use
     a phoneme which is half way between the two. There is
     no cue position in the General American version for 
     this sound; there is a distinction made in Dr.
     Cornett's British version. We suggest that, rather 
     than try to adapt the British cues -- which don't fit
     American pronunciations precisely -- you cue the     
     position which you "hear" as closer to your own pro-
     nunciations of "hot," "not," "on," "Tom," etc. One
     research study back in the '40's claimed that people
     north of the Mason/Dixon line said /ahn/ for "on." If
     that geographical distinction existed forty years ago,
     it is highly questionable today. Better rely upon your
     "hearing" until new research settles the question.

If you have listened carefully to your own tape of the Cueing Dialect Inventory and worked your way through the above observations, your perception of your own speech habits may still have "holes" -- but is probably considerably keener than when you started. If you still have doubts about variations in your own dialect, ask someone to help you at the next Cued Speech Workshop, or consult with a phonetics teacher as a nearby college. In any event, you now know where the problem areas are, and that is more than half (do you say /haf/ or /hahf/?) the battle won!

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