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

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Tue Dec 17 16:36:33 UTC 2002

However, in this case the NPR reader was neither misreading the name nor
giving it the pronunciation of a region "where it is sometimes hard to
distinguish a long e from a long a."  Thomas Kean was governor when I lived
in N.J., and his name was always pronounced [ke:n].

Peter Mc.

--On Tuesday, December 17, 2002 10:44 AM -0500 "Dennis R. Preston"
<preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU> wrote:

> Mark,
> 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
> the Kean ----> Kane result you are looking for.
> dInIs.
>> 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
> --
> Dennis R. Preston
> Professor of Linguistics
> Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic,
>       Asian & African Languages
> Michigan State University
> East Lansing, MI 48824-1027
> e-mail: preston at msu.edu
> phone: (517) 353-9290

                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at linfield.edu

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