free variation in pronunciation

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Apr 3 01:15:16 UTC 2001

At 10:18 PM -0400 4/2/01, David M. Robertson wrote:
>Somebody else mentioned words which can begin with either e- or i-, and might
>thus be pronounced dufferently, but couldn't think of any examples. I think
>he/she was driving at words begiining with en- or in-, such as
>Hasn't that distinction in pronunciation been pretty much lost, at
>least in the
>US? Does the "in-" variation in such words tend to be British, and the "en-"
>American? I tend to spell them en- and pronounce them In-.
And then there's "envelope" ([an-] vs. [En-]); as far as I can tell,
free variants for me.  For e- without -n-, there's "electric",
"Electra", etc.:  initial [@] vs. [i].  In "electricity", where the
initial vowel gets secondary stress, it's either [E] or [i].


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