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
- two sounds
- one sound
- supposed to be two sounds, but through carelessness often in fact one