/ei/ ~ /i:/ in "Kean"
Mark A Mandel
mam at THEWORLD.COM
Tue Dec 17 15:56:11 UTC 2002
On Tue, 17 Dec 2002, Dennis R. Preston wrote:
#There is indeed if you suffer from established northernism, but they
#remain quite distinct for southern US speakers. As is well-known (in
#the so-called Southern Vowel Shift), /ay/ monophthongizes and shifts
#front (so that "rhyme" sounds like something between "rom" and
#"ram"). This leaves the /ay/ slot open, and /ey/ (what you call "long
#a") lowers its onset, and, straynge to say, /ey/ sounds like /ay/.
#Once /ey/ has fallen to /ay/, its space is vacated and the onset of
#/iy/ ( what you call "long e") lowers into /ey/ space, giving just
Not me, but my wife, highly literate but not a phonologist. I should've
added quote prefixes to her lines.
#the Kean ----> Kane result you are looking for.
#>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
#>-- Mark A. Mandel
#> Linguistic Data Consortium, University of Pennsylvania
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