Date: Tue, 12 Apr 1994 18:01:15 -0500 From: Natalie Maynor Subject: Re: ink pen > of non-low front vowels before /n/: Is it the impression of those of you from > the relevant dialect area that the use of 'ink pen' for 'pen' is (a) a natural > or standard designation, and (b) one that is motivated (consciously or > unconsciously, synchronically or diachronically) by the avoidance of homonymy? (a) Although I've heard "ink pen" many times in my life, I'm not sure I would call it "a natural or standard designation." I've never said it, nor do I remember ever hearing it from anybody in my family or from close friends. (b) This possibility has occurred to me before. Obviously it's not something that all [pIn]/[pIn] speakers do, since I don't say "ink pen" and also don't distinguish between "pen" and "pin," but I do think there may be a connection. --Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]