Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

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goweln
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Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby goweln » 2016-01-30, 14:03

I'm back to studying pronunciation formally at the moment. And I'm learning the vowel sounds.

I've been watching videos on the short 'e' as in 'bed', 'set', 'wet', 'death', 'dead'. And I have no problem hearing 'eh' and I repeat it just fine.

However, when this vowel is followed by nasal consonants, I don't hear 'eh' anymore and the people making the video lessons don't address this. Words such as 'men', 'many', 'friend' are what I'm refering to. As far as I can tell no one says 'fr-eh-nd', 'eh-ny' etc.

I can pronounce these words if I let go of the IPA sounds, but since I'm back to studying things formally, I know understanding this will help me with other situations in the future.


If anyone can shed some light on why this change happens, how it happens(what should I be doing when transitioning from 'eh' to 'n') it'd be much appreciated.

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Re: Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby linguoboy » 2016-01-30, 15:23

goweln wrote:However, when this vowel is followed by nasal consonants, I don't hear 'eh' anymore and the people making the video lessons don't address this. Words such as 'men', 'many', 'friend' are what I'm refering to. As far as I can tell no one says 'fr-eh-nd', 'eh-ny' etc.

Possibly you're talking about the pin-pen merger. Since you don't link to any of the videos you talk about in your post, I have no way of knowing where the speakers are from, but this is a quite common feature, found throughout the Southern United States. I have it, in fact, despite growing up in the Midwest. In my speech, these words sound like min, mini, and frin[*]. But that's not how most people around me here in Chicago talk.

[*] I also drop homoorganic stops after nasals. Bin, been, Ben, bend, and binned are all homophonous for me in ordinary speech.
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uzferry

Re: Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby uzferry » 2016-01-30, 15:26

Hi, I have no idea and I won't be answering your question, but I have a question for you.

http://forvo.com/word/any/#en

Except for the first one, majority of people say "eh-ny" and I don't see any troubles with this. What do you hear?

http://forvo.com/word/friend/#en

The same goes with this one.

If I had to guess, it all comes down to regional dialects. Again, I'm not sure about anything regarding this topic, just wondering myself.

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Re: Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby goweln » 2016-01-30, 17:22

Thank you both for answering so quick.

I should have been more thorough.

This is the link for the phonemic chart: https://www.englishclub.com/pronunciation/phonemic-chart-ia.htm
They represent the vowel as "e" and it sounds like 'eh'.

My issue is that I can hear 'eh' (very open sound) in set, bet, net, get, hell, head, dead, said. But I hear a distinct, more closed sound in other words, when 'e' comes before n.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhBH_rtOXGA&feature=iv&src_vid=TExEpZYF5zY&annotation_id=annotation_79251247 at around 38 seconds, when he says 'enter'.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQXKSHcI7hI at around 3:15 he says "My friend from Leicester is deaf not dead." I hear 'eh' in all words except in friend.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceypHjIf9NY at around 1 minute mark, she will say a phrase with "best when" Both words are supposed to have the same vowel but I don't hear it, 'when' sounds more closed to me.

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Re: Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby Ser » 2016-01-30, 20:09

My issue is that I can hear 'eh' (very open sound) in set, bet, net, get, hell, head, dead, said. But I hear a distinct, more closed sound in other words, when 'e' comes before n.

It's just the classic pin-pen merger that linguoboy mentioned and linked to above.

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Re: Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby linguoboy » 2016-01-30, 20:41

goweln wrote:My issue is that I can hear 'eh' (very open sound) in set, bet, net, get, hell, head, dead, said. But I hear a distinct, more closed sound in other words, when 'e' comes before n.

I don't perceive a significant difference between those vowels you mention. There's some degree of nasalisation on many of the occurrences before /n/, but they don't sound noticeably closer in quality to me.
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uzferry

Re: Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby uzferry » 2016-01-30, 23:25

goweln wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceypHjIf9NY at around 1 minute mark, she will say a phrase with "best when" Both words are supposed to have the same vowel but I don't hear it, 'when' sounds more closed to me.


I heard it too, but I'm pretty sure it's only a manner of speech. In your other examples I couldn't distinguish any differences at all :(

By the way, where are you from? Might explain why you're so sensitive to these little changes in vowels :)

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Re: Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby goweln » 2016-01-31, 1:32

Thank you all for the answers. I'll look into the pin-pen merger. And I guess I should practice more with minimal pairs, maybe I'm not identifying the sound in the actual words, only when separated.

I'm from Brazil by the way. In portuguese, we have one sound for 'a' and one for 'e', anything in between sounds like one or the other, maybe there's part of my issue. rsrs.. :roll:

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Re: Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby Mars80 » 2016-02-12, 1:20

linguoboy wrote:
goweln wrote:However, when this vowel is followed by nasal consonants, I don't hear 'eh' anymore and the people making the video lessons don't address this. Words such as 'men', 'many', 'friend' are what I'm refering to. As far as I can tell no one says 'fr-eh-nd', 'eh-ny' etc.

Possibly you're talking about the pin-pen merger. Since you don't link to any of the videos you talk about in your post, I have no way of knowing where the speakers are from, but this is a quite common feature, found throughout the Southern United States. I have it, in fact, despite growing up in the Midwest. In my speech, these words sound like min, mini, and frin[*]. But that's not how most people around me here in Chicago talk.

[*] I also drop homoorganic stops after nasals. Bin, been, Ben, bend, and binned are all homophonous for me in ordinary speech.


Do any of your family members have the pin-pen merger? Do any of your parents or grandparents have it? Or are you the only one in your family with it?

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Re: Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby linguoboy » 2016-02-12, 1:53

Mars80 wrote:Do any of your family members have the pin-pen merger? Do any of your parents or grandparents have it? Or are you the only one in your family with it?

I'm the only one in my generation with it. (It's highly unusual to pick up features from your ancestors rather than your peers.)
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Re: Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby Mars80 » 2016-02-14, 18:10

linguoboy wrote:
goweln wrote:However, when this vowel is followed by nasal consonants, I don't hear 'eh' anymore and the people making the video lessons don't address this. Words such as 'men', 'many', 'friend' are what I'm refering to. As far as I can tell no one says 'fr-eh-nd', 'eh-ny' etc.

Possibly you're talking about the pin-pen merger. Since you don't link to any of the videos you talk about in your post, I have no way of knowing where the speakers are from, but this is a quite common feature, found throughout the Southern United States. I have it, in fact, despite growing up in the Midwest. In my speech, these words sound like min, mini, and frin[*]. But that's not how most people around me here in Chicago talk.

[*] I also drop homoorganic stops after nasals. Bin, been, Ben, bend, and binned are all homophonous for me in ordinary speech.


What about when the next word begins with a vowel as in "bend over" or "friend is"? Do you still drop the [d]?

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Re: Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby mōdgethanc » 2016-02-14, 18:19

I don't think the vowel in friend sounds closer. The difference you're hearing is probably nasalization.

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Re: Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby linguoboy » 2016-02-15, 3:41

Mars80 wrote:What about when the next word begins with a vowel as in "bend over" or "friend is"? Do you still drop the [d]?

Often, yes.
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Re: Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby ling » 2016-02-15, 12:32

The pin-pen merger is common in the US south; it's not very common elsewhere (there may be pockets here and there, as is apparently the case in Chicago). It's not generally considered a feature of "standard" American English.
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Re: Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby linguoboy » 2016-02-15, 13:48

ling wrote:The pin-pen merger is common in the US south; it's not very common elsewhere (there may be pockets here and there, as is apparently the case in Chicago). It's not generally considered a feature of "standard" American English.

I'm not from Chicago and neither is anyone in my family. (I feel like I need to put this in my profile, I end up repeating it so much.)

The pin-pen merger is a common feature of AAVE. So we're not talking just "pockets" in Chicago, we're talking hundreds of thousands of speakers spread throughout the city.
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Re: Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby OldBoring » 2016-02-15, 15:25

So can we consider New Zealand English pin-pen merger?

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Re: Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby linguoboy » 2016-02-15, 15:34

OldBoring wrote:So can we consider New Zealand English pin-pen merger?

No, because they don't merge. It's a chain shift; /ɪ/ gets backed to [ɘ]. (Ozzies mock Kiwis by saying "fush and chups" for "fish and chips".)
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Re: Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby Mars80 » 2016-02-17, 4:32

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN5zw04WxCc

Were they trying to sound like an American Southerner here? It sounds like they're saying "gineration" for "generation". "talkin bout my generation". This is a song by an English group.

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Re: Changes to short 'e' vowel when before nasal consonants

Postby hashi » 2016-04-06, 0:40

linguoboy wrote:
OldBoring wrote:So can we consider New Zealand English pin-pen merger?

No, because they don't merge. It's a chain shift; /ɪ/ gets backed to [ɘ]. (Ozzies mock Kiwis by saying "fush and chups" for "fish and chips".)

Or [ɨ] in some words (depends to what degree a word is enunciated). To a lot of Australians it would seem that NZE has the merger since our /ɛ/ is a slightly raised [e] which is indistinguishable from /i/ to their ears; but you're right, I wouldn't consider the merger exists in NZE either.

(Besides one specific example wherein woman and women are homophonic. Although I don't know if that's just me or not >.>)


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