How do Americans pronounce "dog"?(Pronunciation)
Those who round their lips when they say it would probably transcribe it /dOg/; those who don't round their lips, /dAg/. Very few people in North America distinguish all three vowels /A/, /A./, and /O/. Speakers in Eastern and Southern U.S. merge /A./ and /A/, so that "bother" and "father" rhyme. Speakers in Western U.S. and in Canada merge /A./ and /O/, so that "cot" and "caught", "Don" and "Dawn" are pronounced alike. Some speakers merge all three vowels. The Oxford Companion to the English Language says: "The merger of vowels in _tot_ and _taught_ begins in a narrow band in central Pennsylvania and spreads north and south to influence the West, where the merger is universal. [...] In New England, where the merger is beginning to occur, speakers select the first vowel; in the Midland and West, the second vowel is used for both." Although /A./ is seldom used to transcribe American pronunciation, the vowel transcribed /O/ may sound like /A./ to non-American speakers, or it may sound like /O/. There is a further complication with "dog": U.S. dictionaries give the pronunciations /dOg/, /dAg/ in that order (and similarly with some other words ending in "-og", although which ones varies from dictionary to dictionary). "Dawg", the name of the family dog in the comic strip "Hi and Lois", may be intended to convey the pronunciation /dOg/ to (or from) people who usually pronounce the word /dAg/; or it may be intended as how a child in a community where /A./ and /O/ are merged might misspell "dog".
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