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Pronunciation of terms

  1. Jun 1, 2017 #1
    Hey guys, this is a rather silly question, but does anyone know how to pronounce

    1. Kac in Kac-Moody algebras

    2. Henneaux in Brown Henneaux central charge?

    Don't wanna make a fool of myself when talking to people.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 1, 2017 #2


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    A bit difficult to write without pronunciation letters. In usual English "words" it is Kac = cuts. Henneaux is a bit more difficult, as there is neither a real "e" nor a real "o" in English. The "H" at the beginning isn't spoken. So it is a bit like "a-knoh" with a short "a" as in normal non-emphasized "a" and a long "oh" but preferably without any "u" sound at the end, i.e. not as in "know".
  4. Jun 1, 2017 #3
    Thanks a lot!
  5. Jun 3, 2017 #4


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    According to this wikipedia page, the Polish name Kac sounds more like "cots" or "kahts" than "cuts." As Kac is a Polish name, maybe @Borek can weigh in here.
    What do you mean by "real e" and "real o"?
    Isn't the 'e' in "be" a "real" e?
    And isn't the 'o' in "go" a "real" o?
    Granted, both of these vowels have two pronunciations, with long e as in "be" and short e as in "bed" and long o as in bone vs. short o as in cot.
  6. Jun 3, 2017 #5


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    Not in terms of international phonetics:

    "be" - /biː/
    "bed" - /bɛd/
    French "café" - /cafe/ (but not the English pronunciation /cafɪ/ or /cafeɪ/ )

    "go" - /goʊ/
    "bone" - /boʊn/
    "cot" - /cɒt/
    French "beau" - /bo/

  7. Jun 3, 2017 #6


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    It's Russian: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Kac [kats] and the "a" isn't spoken "open" as "cots" would suggest. But I doubt that Russian or Polish would make a difference. It remains an "a" (as in cuts), not an "o". The only point is, that he migrated to the US, so he eventually is spoken "cats" now.
    It's still difficult to talk about pronunciation only by written words. "real" might have been a bit misleading, perhaps I should have said "proper". I referred to the way Latin is pronounced. There is no "e" in English, neither the French "é" nor "e" and at best there is a "è". And the same is true for "o". Consider "woman" ['u], "women" ['i], "no" [ou] and "Norfolk" [ˈnɔːfək]. All but a "proper" "o" as in "omen". And if you pronounce "omen" as an English word, there is still a bit of an "u" to be heard. Perhaps the German name "Otto" is the closest you can get.

    The only point I wasn't 100% sure about, was whether the "H" of Henneaux is pronounced or not. The French have both versions of an "H" depending on the following vowel. But if, it's merely to be heard so I thought it would be better not to pronounce it than with a loud breath.
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