Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 18:05:20 -0400
From: Beverly Flanigan
Subject: Re: been: Ben vs. bin

'Ben' [bEn] is the norm in (again) Minnesota, and probably as far east as
Chicago, according to my many polled students. I've lived out of Minnesota
for 30+ years now, so I noticed the change from my childhood [bIn] to [bEn]
first in Garrison Keillor: remember his opening song, "I've ben gone so
long ...? Then I started hearing it in my Mpls. brother, and then my
rural-area nieces, and on and on. My sister (in Winona, MN) doesn't have
[bEn], so I suspect it started in the Minneapolis area or northward and has
been spreading outward. Any other thoughts on this spread? BTW, I discuss
it in my Soclx class as another vowel shift, from British tense [i] to lax
[I] to lowered lax [E]--something like the [e] to [E] (noted by Bergdahl)
to [ae] in "available" that I asked about the other day. I recall Reagan's
similar lowering in [kael[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]fornya] ([E] for me); is this common on the West

At 10:53 AM 5/7/98 +0000, you wrote:
>A student of mine writes in the class newsgroup "On a completely
>different note: does anyone else pronounce the word "been" like they
>pronounce the boy's name "Ben" rather than "bin?" I have
>been in a heated discussion about what is correct. It seems that the
>dictionary prefers "bin." So why do I say it the other way?" I don't
>know if this is dialectal or not in the US. Any answers?
> _____________________________________________________________________
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