Pronuntiation of the sound "ei" in American Englis

JL Italy   Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:19 pm GMT
Hi, I'm trying to learn the correct way of pronouncing the sound "ei" as in "say" "bay" "main" in American English (let's just assume for a second there is such a thing as a "general american english").
I'm a little bit confused: I know this sound is a diphthong, but I don't know how I should pronounce the first part of the diphthong (the "e"sound). Some accent modification "experts" say I should pronounce this first sound like the sound "e" as in "bed", "men"; on the other hand, others say it's something different.
So what is it? is it the same sound? is it different?
sp   Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:45 pm GMT
Either the 'e' in bed, or like "ei" in Spanish.
LadyLuxembourg   Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:02 pm GMT
say [sei]
dei [dei]
;   Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:34 pm GMT
More important is to focus on the ending of this diphthong - "offset" . It is never a Spanish or Italian ' i ' , but short 'ɪ', so LadyLuxembourg -> ' eɪ ' not 'ei ' ....
JL Italy   Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:26 am GMT
I don't know what the spanish ei sounds like.. I'm Italian
Anyway that's what I'm talking about
Künstler   Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:32 am GMT
[sej, dej]
Young-Won Kim   Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:22 am GMT
Young-Won Kim   Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:26 pm GMT
>> JL Italy Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:26 am GMT
I don't know what the spanish ei sounds like.. I'm Italian
Anyway that's what I'm talking about

* Since she does not have knowledge of genuine phonetics, her explanations are unscientific.
Two types of pronunciation: mouth sound & chest sound.
So, [ei] sound can be made in the mouth which is discrete/short/voiceless or in the chest which is continuous/long/voiced.
ei   Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:34 pm GMT
Mouth sound and chest sound?? What are you talking about? Head voice and chest voice? That won't change the meaning, just the pitch register... The ei in Spanish or Italian is a close enough approximation. If you want to get better than that, then download a speech analysis program like Praat, and practice getting the onset and offglide formant frequencies right.
Atom   Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:56 pm GMT
@ ei my options look different - one ought to learn language perfectly or quit... Italian 'ei' is just similar, and I'm not the one who likes to sound foreign when speaking another language...
Lka   Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:59 pm GMT
I speak italian. And yeah, it's the standard italian "e" with the /ɪ/ sound.

English "say" sounds like italian "sei."
Kess   Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:11 pm GMT
English "say" sounds like italian "sei."
It does not.
The vowel in Italian ''sei'' is open (halfway between ''bed'' and ''bad''): sèi

The English vowel is close: séi.

say [s e ɪ]
sei [s ɛ i]
JL Italy   Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:35 am GMT
I think you guys should not compare the Italian "ei" to the American one: first of all in Italian we have 2 kind of "eh" sounds.. open and close (the "open" one is similar to the one american people use for "bed" "men".. the "closed" one is similar to the sound that lady in the video I posted was talking about.. it's an "eh" sound but the tongue is higher and more forward in the mouth). And we can say the word "sei" (the number six), using either sound (even if to me , using the "open" one would sound kinda strange)

Second of all the overall muscularity of italian vowels is totally different from the american one.. Our sounds are more forward, and our tongue is generally higher in the mouth.

Anyway I just wanna know if the majority of the american speakers, when they say the "ei" diphthong (as in say, lay, main, and so on", to realize the first part of the sound EI (the EH part), use the same sound as the single vowel "eh" as in "bed", "man", or is something different, like the lady in the video said.
a   Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:24 am GMT
No, most Americans would not see the connection. Just like we connect the i (as in "in") to the I (as in "buy"), rather than the ee in "see".
JL Italy   Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:53 pm GMT
Fuck you a, you dont have a clue what you are talking about. Filthy fucker.