AJ> According to Mr Rosenfelder's interpretation of English spelling, it's
AJ> oughta be "goatee". However, had I encountered as simply an unknown
AJ> English word in a text, I'd probably have rendered it as /gowtaj/,
AJ> which doesn't seem to mean anything.

I'd side with Mr. Rosenfelder.  Final -i is rare in English, occurring
mostly in foreign borrowings, where it almost universally represents
/i/.  The primary exceptions are Latin and Greek words (including the
names of the Greek letters) which were borrowed pre-Great-Vowel-Shift;
mostly these are medical and legal terms.

Herman mentioned "semi", which is an odd duck.  As a prefix, "semi-" can
be /'sE,mi/, /'sE.mI/, /'sE.m@/, or /'sE,mai/ - those are dialectical
variants, though two or more may occur in free variation within a given
dialect.  As a standalone word for a tractor-trailer rig, however, it is
invariably /sEmai/.  The same holds true for the prefix "anti-", which
when run together with the following word has a similar variety of
pronunciations, but when standing alone or just when being emphasized is

Finally, I must note that one of the things which has always bothered me
about "Star Wars" is the pronunciation of "Jedi".  From the time I first
saw it in written form at age 9 it has seemed obvious to me that such a
word must be pronounced /dZEdi/.  If not, then the name of a certain
Master of that discipline would have to be /obaiwankEnobai/. :)