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08 Juni 2004 @ 19:48
Uninted we stad  

Reading Adam Albright's insightful piece on "Those obstinant n's," I was reminded of a small glitch in the process by which I acquired my native language. I used to be quite sure that there were two /n/s in the word united (although I'm not sure exactly how I would have spelled it: uninted? unineted? They both look wrong, and not just because they are).

When I eventually came to study sounds in a more formal way, I was delighted to read, in Hank Rogers's Theoretical and Practical Phonetics, that:

Some speakers report a curious contrast. For them, the word united (particularly in United States and United Nations) has a nasalized second vowel; on the other hand, the corresponding vowel is not nasalized in you knighted (him) (Rogers 1991: 63).

Well, no wonder I was confused! Now, if only someone could explain why I also, as a wee lad, persisted in believing that the first sound in the word voice was a /w/, even after I knew how to spell it, and even though I never had any trouble with /v/s in other words....

 
 
 
w1ldc47w1ldc47 on 9. Juni, 2004 06:32 (UTC)
They both look wrong, and not just because they are
What's the other reason?
Q. Pheevr: The real meq_pheevr on 9. Juni, 2004 09:19 (UTC)

Well, neither spelling unambiguously reflects the pronunciation I have in mind: uninted looks like it could be un[I]nted, and unineted looks as if it might have four syllables.

w1ldc47w1ldc47 on 9. Juni, 2004 21:02 (UTC)
ah. so you want something more to the effect of unãted, then?
Q. Pheevr: The real meq_pheevr on 10. Juni, 2004 12:24 (UTC)

Well, the pronunciation I have in mind is (in X-SAMPA, because most of the Unicode IPA characters don't work for me):

Broad: /junajnt@d/
Narrow: [j@~nV~j~4~@d]