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Old June 23, 2018, 23:07   #2
Nick
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Location: Canberra, Australia
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I think (slightly to my surprise) that person was correct. Appendix E of LoTR says "the sounds were approximately those represented by i, e, a, o, u in English machine, were, father, for, brute".

I have pronounced both a's as in "sand" (and will probably continue to).
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