[b-hebrew] Ayin and Ghayin and accent

Yishmor Y yishmor at heplist.com
Sun Oct 30 20:46:10 EST 2005

Dave Washburn wrote:
    > [...] 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.

Karl Randolph wrote:
    > 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.

What is being referred to is variously referred to as the "Midwest 
Accent", "Standard Midwestern", as well as the "General American" 
accent. It is originally mostly limited to the region around Iowa, 
particularly East Nebraska, Iowa, and North West Illinois. Essentially, 
the speakers of this region are perceived by most people in the United 
States as "not having an accent" and because of this, this accent is 
adopted by many in the American television and radio news industries as 
well as actors. Tom Brokaw is often given as an example.

Karl Randolph writes:
    > This is getting off topic, but it is
    > illustrative: if we disagree so much
    > as simple and common as the
    > pronunciation of "women" [...] how
    > can we claim [...] that we can know
    > exactly how ancient people pronounced
    > their languages?

I'm not sure that we can be sure about the vowels. Vowels are far too 
variable (and a possible reason why the vowels were ommitted in some of 
these alphabets). The consonants, however, seem more constant <bg> and I 
think that much we can narrow them down to some high degree of confidence.

yišmor busi

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