The Unated Nations!

For a brief moment, the world thought that Donald Trump had renamed the United Nations when he called them the Unated Nations during his speech to the General Assembly. This slip of the tongue occurred due to ‘anticipation’ which is when a segment downstream takes the place of a segment upstream. In this case the /i/ vowel in ‘United’ was replaced /a/ vowel of ‘Nations’ to produce ‘Unated’. See line 05 below:

Donald Trump
01 Rocket man (.) is on a suicide mission for himself
02 and for his regime
03 the United States is ready (.) willing and able
04 but hopefully (.) this will not be necessary
05 that’s what the Unated Nations (.) is all about
06 that’s what (.) the United Nations is for
07 let’s see how they do

External link to clip

The brief pause at the end of the line is interesting. Normally when a speech error is made, a speaker will go back and repair the error. In this case, Trump decided not to do so, possibly because it formed part of parallel clause with line 06. In 06 he managed to get the right pronunciation for the ‘United Nations’ out which made the slip of the tongue in 05 all the more obvious.


UN General Assembly speech, 19th September 2017
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