Lustig Andrei wrote:
And, oh yeah, at the risk of sounding like dalehilman it would help if you indicate the general geographical background of where you learned to speak that way.
Ok, I just said out loud "There's an ant hill over there." Then, "That's my Aunt Millie"
Ant came out more nasally (forgive me, I was never good with phonetics in school, long short vowels, etc. made my palms sweat and stomach lurch)
Aunt came out like a short "a" as in cat or can't
So ant is nasally and whiney.
As a child, young adult cat and can't were nasally and whiney as well, not now.
I grew up in NJ, on the Jersey Shore (and no, that doesn't mean I sounded like Snookie, they were visiting), and thinking about these sounds, I think I sounded more like Carmela Soprano (although I said my R's at the end my my words, never said "dinnah" for "dinner")
Just like Carmela, as far as saying a lot of "a's" in words that should have had short "a's" sounded nasal...like a mosquito whining.
The further North you went in NJ back in the 70's, the more whiney you sounded.
I made a conscious effort to change my accent when I moved to Wisconsin, as that was the first time I lived somewhere where I sounded a lot different from others, and was treated differently because of it. Prior to that, I lived in S. Florida, which was basically like living in NJ.
So I broadened my vowels mostly I guess.
Now, if someone asks where I was born (from) in conversation, I'm surprised and until recently would ask "You can't tell?" I'd get some varied answers, but no one would ever say NJ or NY.
I've lived in Austin Tx for, oh...almost 20 years now, and say INsurance and "fixin' ta" and "y'all"