Sunday, February 27, 2011

Grace's e/ɛ distinction

From Grace, today:

Me: Do you want to play legos ('lɛ-goz)
Grace: No, I call them legos ('leɪ-goz). Why do you call them 'lɛ-goz but I call them 'leɪ-goz.
Me: I don't know. I call them 'lɛ-goz.
Grace: I call them 'leɪ-goz.
Me: Ok.
Grace. Logos, 'lɛ-goz, 'leɪ-goz (laughs)

And so Grace shows off the perfection of her e/ɛ distinction (my poor Spanish-speaking friends of course mostly can't do this). The question is how did she come to learn the word legos as leɪgos and not lɛgos... I'll have to follow up and ask Katharine how she pronounces the word. Do any of you pronounce this word like Grace?

Pronunciation note: lɛ is the vowel sound in "leg." leɪ is the vowel sound in "lay"


Katharine said...

I say "laygos" :)

Katharine said...

I say "laygos." :)

Tom Hinkle said...

It strikes me "laygos" may well be a more standard pronunciation.

The only word spelled similarly I can think of is "prego", and I pronounce that "praygo" (in contrast with "preggo").