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имена́ [ɪmʲɪˈna]

{vs}: и́мени [ˈimʲɪnʲɪ]

At least according to IPA, these two "ме" sounds should be pronounced the same way. But I seem to notice that the "mʲɪ" sound placed before a stressed syllable sounds just like "mʲɪ", similar to "mix" in English, whereas the "mʲɪ" sound placed after a stressed syllable sounds more like "mʲe", as in "меч [mʲet͡ɕ]" -- albeit not as distinct.

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    maybe there's a slight difference with E in имени resisting reduction, but in the grand scheme of things this is negligible, for all intents and purposes it can be considered И, and this doesn't affect intelligibility or euphony of the word a bit – Баян Купи-ка May 14 '18 at 17:31
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Both of those syllables are in an unstressed position, hence the reduction of sound. It's very difficult or even impossible to spot any difference in this position.

From the practical standpoint: they sound the same.

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I would say that "mʲɪ" can be pronounced as the similar to "mix" (и) or as in "меч" (е), or even among them. Both options will be correct. It depends on the dialect of the speaker.

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