A Linguistic Test: Blue Kennel’s First

I have been reading a work called From Bible Belt to Sun Belt by Darren Dochuk about how settlement from the western South [Texas and bordering states] in the 1930s and 40s reshaped California evangelicalism and culture.  It inspired me to give my readers my first phonemic test; this particular one measures Southern influence on California speech.

Read out loud:

Sentimental sinners lent Linda money.

The eminent theologian explained that God was immanent as well as transcendent.

Did you ask for a safety pin or a ball point pen?

Kendall likes his new Amazon Kindle.

Those who show Southern influence will pronounce all the underlined parts alike:  those who do not will make a noticeable contrast.

I have a couple more of these up the pipeline if the readers are interested.  You are welcome to respond in Comments and tell me whether these are

  1. two sounds
  2. one sound
  3. supposed to be two sounds, but through carelessness often in fact one

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