Sami again

Mark Crispin MRC@CAC.Washington.EDU
Tue, 19 Feb 2002 11:28:08 -0800 (Pacific Standard Time)

On Tue, 19 Feb 2002, Michael Everson wrote:
> Sami looks like swami, which rhymes with Finnish saami and Norwegian sami(sk).

As a native speaker of American English, if I saw "sami" without any other
pronunciation context I would pronounce it as "sammy" or "sah my" or "say
my".  A match with "swami" would never occur to me.

If I thought that it was a Japanese or Romance language word, I would
pronounce it as "sah me", but that's because my mind has shifted gears to
the use of Latin vowels as opposed to American English.

Not that "saami" is necessarily better; without a cue to use Latin vowels
I could still think "sah my".  With that cue, I would tend to follow
Japanese usage and double the length of the "a".

-- Mark --
Science does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate.