People Speaking: 3

Reigning Cats and Dogs

Do you know, Jean’s Aunt Winifred just never goes on holiday.
/də ˈjuː ˏnəʊ, ˈdʒiːnz | ɑːnt ˋˏwɪnɪfrɪd | dʒəst ˋnevə ɡəʊz ɒn ˏhɒlədɪ./ [1]

Simply because she can’t take her cat with her.
/ ˋ-sɪmpli bɪkəz ʃi ˏkɑːnt teɪk hə ˋkæt wɪð hɜː./ [2]

My old Uncle Ralph won’t come to England because he won’t be parted from that great hound of his.
/ ˈmaɪ | əʊld ˋ-ʌŋkl ˋ-rælf ˏwəʊnt kʌm tu ˋɪŋɡlənd bɪkəz hi ˏwəʊnt bi ˏpɑːtɪd | frm ˈðæt ɡreɪt ˋhaʊnd əv hɪz./ [4]

How terrible to live lives dominated by animals.
/ˈhaʊ ˎterəbl | tə ˈlɪv ˎlaɪvz ˋˏdɒmɪneɪtɪd | baɪ ˎænəmlz./ [5]

They seem to like it though.
/ðeɪ ˈsiːm | tə ˊˋlaɪk ˌɪt ˏðəʊ./ [6]

Notice that some of the medial vowels, eg in holiday, Winifred, dominated and animals are so short and/or “mumbled” we really can only guess at them.

It's very likely that the openness of the final vowel of holiday is due to a prosodic process (the adoption of a fairly "clipped" style) rather than preference for /-i/. If you listen to the same speaker say Many happy at Remarks # 9 her final-y sounds are there much more /iː/-like. Likewise her Germany at People Speaking # 22. The weakest sounds like /i/ and /ə/ are particularly likely to vary according to the style of delivery of the speaker so one shd never decide on what a person's normal quality for such sounds is unless one's listened to a fair number of instances.

It's often difficult to decide what tones constitute a head and which are classifiable as climaxes (or "nuclear") tones. Prescriptive textbooks tend to simplify recognition of them (tho Crystal 1969 pp 225 etc for all its complexity isnt very satisfying on the topic) and hardly recognise ones with mixed or complex tones atall. There's certainly much ambiguity: even so, a sequence like our second sentence seems rhythmically and semantically to constitute a mixed head plus Fall climax. Likewise with our “bɪkəz hi ˏwəʊnt bi ˏpɑːtɪd | frm ˈðæt ɡreɪt ˋhaʊnd əv hɪz./ Fortunately we can leave such problems to the theorists because they have little practical relevance. Much the same goes for worrying whether our last sentence has two climax tones or one: I favour “one” but I havent actually notated it as the Climb-Fall-Bass-Rise tone I consider it to be as a gesture towards ease of reading of the tones.