Which of the words gut, foot and hoot rhyme for you?
|This map presents
preliminary results for the question Which
of the words gut, foot and hoot
rhyme for you? Five
responses were possible, and respondents could choose more than one
answer if they felt these words rhymed more than one way in their
accent (for example, Warren Maguire can, like many speakers from
Northern Ireland, rhyme foot
with gut or hoot, but gut and hoot can never rhyme). The possible
The 'Scottish' system (foot = hoot) is, as its name suggests, mostly found in Scotland, but it is also found in Northern Ireland, and it is almost entirely absent elsewhere. This is the expected distribution for the 'FOOT-GOOSE Merger' (see Wells 1982: 133).
The 'Northern' system (gut = foot) is characteristic of the north Midlands and northern England, and of parts of Ireland. This unity of the STRUT and FOOT lexical sets is perhaps the most well known feature of northern English speech (see Chambers and Trudgill 1980: 127-9), although the current sparsity of questionnaire returns from parts of the Midlands means that the southern boundary of this feature is not clearly identifiable.
The 'Southern' system (none of the words rhyme) is most characteristic of southern England, but there is plenty of evidence for this pattern in northern England too, which is not surprising, given the demographic of the respondents to this questionnaire (see also Wells 1982: 351-2).
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