[B-R-I] Re: nu-ku-lar

Garrett Wollman wollman@bimajority.org
Wed Sep 5 13:19:08 EDT 2012

<<On Wed, 05 Sep 2012 11:44:14 -0400, Scott Fybush <scott@fybush.com> said:

> On 9/5/2012 11:10 AM, Jim Hall wrote:
>> The one that drives me crazy is the way people from other regions
>> pronounce "the" as "thuh" in all circumstances.

> I'm mostly bothered by this pronunciation when it's immediately followed 
> by "Yankees win!"

But of course the rule that the nuns taught Jim to use would not apply
to the John Sterling situation, because "Yankees" begins with a
consonant sound.

(There's another error people were taught in school: there are no such
things as "vowel letters" and "consonant letters" a la "Wheel of
Fortune" -- there are only vowel sounds and consonant sounds.  When
<y> representats a consonant sound, written phonetically as /j/, it's
what's called a "semivowel".  When <y> represents a vowel sound, it's
usually /i/ but sometimes can be /I/ or /u/ or even /y/ in some
loanwords.  Of course, in some languages -- not English -- there is a
more direct correspondance between spelling and pronunciation, making
it legitimate to say, for example, that <y> in Finnish is a "vowel
letter", since it always represents the *sound* /y/.)


Disclaimer: I'm not a phonetician, but I've spent a lot of time in the
past five years reading people who are flame about popular
misunderstandings about spoken language.

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