This is not a new one, but I was marveling last night at the pronunciation of woman and women. Are these the only words where a change in one letter produces a different sound in another, innocent bystander letter while leaving the different-letter-sound basically the same: /in/ (depending on a speaker’s accent)? How come changing an a to an e makes the o sound different? Can you think of any other examples? Isn’t our language weird?

PatrickWords03/04/04 3 comments


Dan • 03/05/04 2:11 PM:

To answer Patrick’s question: No, I can’t think of an other example of this phenomenon, but I am trying. Let that be known.

Anita • 03/06/04 11:25 PM:

Isn’t all language wonderfully weird?

Patrick • 03/07/04 10:06 PM:

I think there’s a slight difference in the a-sounds of can and can’t (in addition to the t-sound difference). I notice this because I have a hard time distinguishing between the two when Karina says them, because she doesn’t have a mastery of all our weird English vowel sounds.

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