I base my pronunciation on the "rules" I learned sometime about 4th grade. As I recall it went something like in two-syllable words the long vowel is followed by a single consonent, a short vowel is followed by double consonents. But of course there are exceptions and who knows if Rigert is even an English word. It's a name I suppose. And names!—well there is no sense to how they are pronounced.
We do live, after all, in Oregon. OR-e-gone to most of the world, Orygun to those of who live here. In many cases you just have to know things like:
- Our fair city is split by the Willamette River, which is not sensibly pronounced willa-MET, but is, instead, wu-LAM-ut.
- A major downtown street is Couch Street. It is not pronounced Cow-ch, like a sofa, but Cootch, like, well, whatever.
- Near Couch Street is Glisan street. Rhymes with "listen."
(I know about Couch and Glisan streets because there was a story in the newspaper about their pronunciations and they are pretty well-known streets. Rigert is just too obscure)
- The small town just south of Portland is Tualatin. It's pronounced tu-WALL-a-tun, which actually makes some sense phonetically, but it bamboozles visitors and newcomers.
So we're at an impasse. I say Ri-gert, Ray says Rig-gert. The other day I heard someone call it "Reegert". Ay, ay, ay. I am tempted to find someone in the phone book with this last name and call them and ask them how they say their name, but if I called two Rigerts I might get two different answers. Have you ever known anyone with this name? How did they pronounce it? How did you pronounce it in your head when you read the street sign at the top of this post?