/ei/ ~ /i:/ in "Kean"

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Tue Dec 17 15:25:40 UTC 2002

My wife asks:

When I was listening to NPR last night, the reader said "Thomas Kane"
had been appointed to head the commission investigating 9/11. Who?
"The former governer of New Jersey" she went on. Gee, I thought, isn't
that Thomas Kean, pronounced "Keen"?

It is indeed. So my question is, did the reader misread her text, or are
there places where it is sometimes hard to distinguish a long e from a
long a?

-- Mark A. Mandel
   Linguistic Data Consortium, University of Pennsylvania

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