Query: women > wimming

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Jan 22 00:29:32 UTC 2005

>--On Friday, January 21, 2005 5:18 PM -0500 Wilson Gray
><wilson.gray at RCN.COM> wrote:
>>FWIW, my
>>mother is unique in my experience in pronouncing "women" as [wI m at n].
>???  Am I being dense?  Aside from "wimming," I can't think of any other
>way it could be pronounced.  Or do you mean she divides the syllables
>before the [m] instead of after?  Or inserts a pause?  Or have I been
>miss-pronouncing women all these years?
As Wilson says, the standard version would have an unstressed [I] in
the second syllable rather than [@], but I don't think I'm alone in
having trouble detecting quality differences in unstressed English
vowels, as in the old "roses"/"Rosa's" minimal pair, or "hand in
glove"/"hand an' glove".  (I mentioned a number of these in my
"spitten image" paper from last year's AS.  Besides [I] and [@], it's
claimed that some speakers have a vowel closer to barred-i, which I
won't try to asciify.)


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