Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Feb 18 02:09:27 UTC 2008

At 1:29 AM +0000 2/18/08, Tom Zurinskas wrote:
>One thing ~thheeng we were talking about is the sound of letter "i"
>in words like "sing, wing, thing".
>I don't know why, but linguists ~leengwists express this sound as
>short i when its really spoken as long e ~ee in English.  My theory
>is that latin pronunciation has the letter i pronounced as ~ee so
>folks are just letting it slide phonetically.  Latins say ~Geev eet
>tue heem~ instead of "give it to him."  So they have no problem with
>using letter i for "sing,wing,thing" because it means for them
>~seeng,weeng,thheeng~ the way they say it.
>A new one in this respect is the word "Finland".  I heard the Prime
>Minister of Finland pronounce it ~Feenlend, and he ought to know it

Why ought he to know it correctly?  He's not a native speaker of
English, and when he speaks Finnish he pronounces it as (more or
less) /suomi/.


>  So I suppose the Fins are ~Feenz, and Finnish is ~Feenish (it
>shouldn't have the double "n" in that case because the "i" is short
>thus Finish would be more correct.)
>I once heard a Lithuanian pronounce it ~Leethhwwaenyu.  Again the
>letter "i" spoken as ~ee.  My thing is that if it's spoken as ~ee in
>~Eenglish then it should be phonetically written as ~ee.
>Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+
>See truespel.com - and the 4 truespel books plus "Occasional Poems"
>at authorhouse.com.
>Helping your favorite cause is as easy as instant messaging. You IM, we give.
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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