Teenglish from England

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 18 15:04:05 UTC 2009

We are starting to see many witnesses that say that folks do not hear long e in the word "English/England" for that first vowel.  Some say they say they hear short i as in "ingrain, into, inches".  But this is not what we hear when we listen to m-w.com or thefreedictionary.com.

What is weird is to say that folks when saying "England" are trying to say short i (even though the letter is e"), but that the velar N changes it.  Why try to say a short i when the letter is e.  Wouldn't it be logical to try to say a short e.

We really shouldn't care if a ventriloquist is saying sounds in a completely different manner than usual.  It's the sounds that we hear that matters.  To say that a person is trying to say a short i (as in "in") for the "e" in "England (God knows why) but it comes out incorrectly as a long e does not make sense.

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL7+
see truespel.com phonetic spelling

> Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2009 16:00:42 +0800
> From: strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM
> Subject: Re: Teenglish from England
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Randy Alexander
> Subject: Re: Teenglish from England
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 3:40 PM, Nathan Sanders
> wrote:
>>> When you know that when a sound sounds like something else it
>>> actually IS the sound it sounds like then you'll understand.
>> As M Covarrubias pointed out, you're conflating two very distinct
>> things:
>> (1) the physical reality: an articulation made in the speaker's vocal
>> tract (consisting ofspecificed position and shape of the tongue, lips,
>> velum, etc.), and the resulting sound wave that passes through that
>> articulation (vibrating molecules with fundamental frequencies,
>> harmonics, resonant frequencies, anti-formants, dampening, etc., as
>> determined by the vocal articulation)
>> (2) the auditory perception of that physical reality: the distortion
>> made by the listener's ear and brain when they process a sound wave
>> (there are a variety of relevant effects, such as perceptual averaging
>> of neighboring resonant frequencies, non-linear transformation due to
>> shape of the cochlea, the inherently logarithmic nature of perception
>> as explained by Weber's Law, and even additional physical warping of
>> the sound wave itself due to resonance and dampening within the ear
>> canal)
>> If you articulate [I] before [N], you will generate sound waves that,
>> when measured by a computer, will come out with the expected
>> frequencies for a nasalized [I] articulation, but when that sound wave
>> is heard and interpreted by an actual human being with a human ear and
>> human brain, it will often be perceived as [i] instead, because of how
>> we transform the acoustic signal while processing it.
>> Simply put, what we hear is not identical to what is said.
> Of course Tom is going to say that what we hear should determine what
> phoneme is represented, so before that happens I would like to stress
> that it is only *some people* who perceive a nasalized [I] as [i].
> --
> Randy Alexander
> Jilin City, China
> My Manchu studies blog:
> http://www.bjshengr.com/manchu
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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