Strictly a pronunciation question

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Jan 20 08:54:42 UTC 2001

>Now now larry. What did the Brits name them?

Actually, a bit of research reveals that it was the birth mother
(nice retronym) herself who named them Kiara and Keyara, and then put
them up on the web for adoption, presumably because they couldn't
tell them apart with the neutralized vowels and all.  The British
couple, the Kilshaws, re-named them Kimberley and Belinda, which have
the virtue of being phonologically distinct.  The
California couple, the Allens, evidently are willing to retain the
girls' birth names, but maybe that factor shouldn't be absolutely
decisive in itself.


>>At 10:11 PM -0800 1/19/01, Kim & Rima McKinzey wrote:
>>>Have you been following the transatlantic adoption mess?  If not,
>>>there are twin girls who were given up for adoption by their birth
>>>mother.  A couple in California adopted them after paying $6000 with
>>>a promise of another $2500 when they had it.  After having the girls
>>>for a little while, the birth mother came to visit and supposedly to
>>>say goodby.  She took them and never returned.  Turns out she then
>>>gave them to a British couple who paid $12,200.  Definitely a lousy
>>>However, the articles have said that the California couple named the
>>>6 month old girls Kiara and Keyara.  How do you pronounce these???
>>>At first glance they would seem to be identical, but maybe one has an
>>>i macron in first syllable and the other an e macron?  Maybe one has
>>>an ash as second vowel and the other a broad a?
>>Strictly a pronunciation question my foot--this is prima facie
>>evidence for a judgment in favor of the British couple.
>Dennis R. Preston
>Department of Linguistics and Languages
>Michigan State University
>East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
>preston at
>Office: (517)353-0740
>Fax: (517)432-2736

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