[b-hebrew] Ayin and Ghayin

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Sun Oct 30 13:42:00 EST 2005


Dave:

I took some courses in journalism, and those professors 
told me that the MidWest pronunciation is the best, the one 
preferred for TV and radio announcers.

Of course one can recognize the difference between 
"womæn" and "women",  the same as the difference 
between "mæn" and "men", though usually the context 
helps.

I'm from Minnesota, and no one has said that I talk funny. 
But many have complimented me on my unusually clear 
enunciation making my speech easy to understand.

This is getting off topic, but it is illustrative: if we disagree 
so much as simple and common as the pronunciation of 
"women" in a language where most of us are native 
speakers, albeit with slight dialectal differences, how can 
we claim, as Randall Buth claims, that we can know 
exactly how ancient people pronounced their languages? 
I do not claim that I know, just that we must acknowledge 
that even our best efforts are just educated guesses.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dave Washburn" <dwashbur at nyx.net>
> 
> On Saturday 29 October 2005 19:43, Karl Randolph wrote:
>....
> >
> > No, you got it wrong! It's pronounced "women" with the "o"
> > like the "oul" in could, would or should, not "i", and the "e"
> > as in men, again not a "i". This is from the MidWest
> > pronunciation, which is considered the best American
> > pronunciation. Of course you could be running into a
> > bunch of dialectal mispronunciations, like those guys from
> > Noo Yauk or Baastin.    ....    ;-)
> 
> Excuse me, but who told you that midwest is considered the "best"?  And my dad
> was from the midwest and he pronounced it with the "i" sound.  I'm from
> California but have lived in Montana, Indiana, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona and
> now Idaho, and I have never heard the plural pronounced as you describe it in
> any of those places.  I have known people from Ohio, Illinois, Michigan,
> Kentucky, Washington, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, and who knows where else.
> As far as I know, you are the ONLY person who has ever suggested the above
> pronunciation.  I even saw a Dennis the Menace comic once in which it was
> phonetically spelled "wimmin."  Only the singular, "woman," has the "u"
> vowel.  By your description, there would be no auditory difference between
> the singular and the plural, which is something I have never heard in all my
> travels (I have spent time in all but 4 of our 50 states).  So either you're
> talking about the singular, or you really talk funny ;-)
> 
> --
> Dave Washburn
> http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
> "Maybe I'll trade it for a new hat."

-- 
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