[b-hebrew] Ayin and Ghayin

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Mon Oct 31 12:41:30 EST 2005

Stoney: all I mentioned is that is the way I was taught as a 
child in the Mid West, and continue to speak. And I have 
heard others pronounce it that way. (When I claimed that 
that was the "correct" way to pronounce that, I said that 
tongue in cheek, and hoped others understood it that 
way.) (This should be end of discussion on "wimmin".)

Another factor that should be mentioned is that people 
often hear that which they are prepared to hear. If they 
expect a certain pronunciation, that's what they'll hear 
even when that pronunciation is slightly different. This is 
more marked in transliterations. An example of the latter 
is ü (u Umlaut) which in languages that lack that vowel 
usually gets transliterated as a short "i", or ö (o Umlaut) 
which is often transliterated and pronounced as a "ay" or 
"er" in languages that lack that sound (taking examples 
from American mispronunciations). This is why I question 
how much dialectal and non-native speaker data should 
be used to determine how a native speaker would 
pronounce his language. This will also indicate that there 
can be greater idiosyncratic pronunciation differences 
among native speakers of a language than what spelling 
conventions will show.

I mention this also because the Masoretic text has 
pronunciation guides based on how the Masoretes, as 
non-native speakers of Hebrew, heard a pronunciation 
tradition that had been developed over centuries by other 
non-native speakers of Hebrew. The same skepticism 
should attach to transliterations of Hebrew into other 
languages, such as to Greek in the LXX, New Testament 
and Josephus, as well as others.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Stoney Breyer" <stoneyb at touchwood.net>
> ...
> >> I have lots of American friends and I have never heard your claimed
> >> pronunciation of women. Women is pronounced 'wimin' not 'wumin'.
> > 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".
> Karl, I have lived in the Midwest for 30 years, and for 30 years I was
> an actor with formal training and practice in a wide variety of English
> dialect, and I have never encountered this pronunciation of the plural.
> The singular, indeed, has this pronunciation of the initial consonant
> (except in some varieties of Mountain Southern), but the plural has in
> my experience invariably a short "i". The "i" coloring in the unstressed
> second syllable is of course a natural assimilation from the previous
> stressed syllable. I observe that the American Heritage dictionary (all
> I have here at the office) calls for a short "i" in the first syllable
> and a schwa in the second.
> > . . . 
> Stoney Breyer
> Writer/Touchwood

Play 100s of games for FREE! http://games.mail.com/

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list