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Re: Weekly Vocab 6: to know

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Thursday, May 8, 2003, 18:22
On Wed, May 07, 2003 at 02:29:21PM -0700, Joe Fatula wrote:
> > True enough. Whenever an infinitive for "modal can" is called for, > > "to be able to" is used. "To can" refers to the process of putting things > > in cans. :) > > And it's pronounced differently, too, so it's certainly a different word. > Just like "have" /h&v/ and "have" /h&_rf/, analogous to Spanish "tener" and > "haber".
Maybe in your idiolect that's true, but I don't think it's true generally. At least, it's not true for me. As I say them, the only differences between the two uses of "have" and "can" come from emphasis; most of the time, the main verb is emphasized, not the modal, so the vowel in the modal gets reduced to a schwa or even disappears. But whenever the modal is emphasized, for whatever reason, it sounds identical to the spelled-alike verb in my pronunciation. So, for instance, all of these "can"s sound alike (specifically, like [k&n]): Can you can? Yes, I can! Ah, but can you Can-Can? As do both of these "have"s ([h&v]): I have done it. I have it. -Mark


James Worlton <jamesworlton@...>
James Worlton <jamesworlton@...>
Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>