An exchange, a few days ago, between Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky and her daughter Opal (who will be 5 on Wednesday), as reported on the On the Other Hand blog:
Complaining about my desire to pick up the Lego: “You are a FEEN. An evil FEEN, I tell you! Wickedness!” “A fiend, you mean?” “Not a feed, a feen! An evil nasty horrible thing.”
Clearly, Opal was aiming at (her version of) the word fiend, except that for her, the final [nd] cluster has been simplified. When her mother produced her own version of the word, with a [d], Opal took the [d] to be the salient phonological feature of the coda and disregarded the nasality (which might have been realized in her mother’s speech merely as nasalization of the vowel) — so she perceived her mother’s production as an instance of the word feed.
It’s easy to disregard vowel nasalization as a cue for a nasal stop in lexical representation, especially when many speakers have spontaneous nasalization of vowels. Listeners learn to disregard spontaneous nasalization and so sometimes fail to detect a lexical nasal; HADLE is a surprisingly frequent misspelling of HANDLE, as on this website devoted to handle bags (or “hadle bags”, as the webpage has it).