O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel!
with its refrain
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.
In LPD I said that Israel, in speech normally ˈɪzreɪl or ˈɪzriəl, is “in singing usually ˈɪzreɪel”.
But on reflection I certainly ought to have mentioned this further possibility with -aɪ-.
Listen, for example, to the Irish singer Enya (using slightly different wording from the usual Anglican one):
Where on earth could this treatment of the second vowel have come from? It’s not straightforwardly based on the spelling; there are all sorts of vowel sounds that correspond to the spelling a, but aɪ is not one of them.
On reflection I think that we have a tendency (perhaps ‘rule’ would be to put it too strongly) to change ɑː to aɪ before a following front vowel (a position from which it is usually shielded by a linking or intrusive r). It’s a kind of anticipatory articulation.
We see this in the word naïve. On the basis of the French it ought to be nɑːˈiːv. In practice people mostly say naɪˈiːv.
If we assume a starting point ˈɪzrɑːel, based on the spelling or the Latin or Hebrew pronunciation (real or imagined), then my proposed near-rule would make it ˈɪzraɪel. QED.
(Or is Enya actually singing her version of ˈɪzrɑːel?)
Table (second attempt, successful)
|This is column one.
|This is column two.