I am a white Southerner — both my parents were from small communities east of Atlanta. My family always said “ant” (for sisters of a parent) but the African Americans with whom I have worked both in Alabama and in DC predominantly say “awnt” or “ahnt.”
When I heard the discussion this morning, I immediately did an internet search and found maps at http://www4.uwm.edu/FLL/linguistics/dialect/staticmaps/q_1.html showing the distribution of “ant,” “ahnt,” and “awnt.” Unfortunately, there is no differentiation as to race.
Your “while” suggests to me a usage that I always find interesting:
While a mild-mannered person, she always stands firm where it matters.
While it needs some repairing, that house is mostly a solid property.
So While x, y implies that x and y are contradictory, with x being the context aimed to heighten y. What an efficient way to say so much.
But in your usage I am not at all sure you are doing the same thing, Either way, I am not clear of your meanings.
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