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Re: YAEPT alert! [Re: Not phonetic but ___???]Fw: RFE/RL HEADLINES: 15 April 2004

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Saturday, April 17, 2004, 15:47
Philippe Caquant wrote:
> Can't understand that point about "cure". I always > pronounced it something like "kju:r", and my Harraps's > says someting similar. What has it to do with a nurse > ? >
In the case of those who have a rounded vowel here (as your dictionary, and I, do) it's the problem of _neutralization before /r/_ -- the vowel is neither [(j)u] nor [(j)U], but something in between, call it "lowered [u]" or "raised [U]" (plus, Engl. /r/ tends to have a centralizing effect, to further confuse things). But another large segment of the population has unrounded and centralized the vowel to a schwa (actually [3^] or [3:] depending on rhoticity), and rhymes this word with _her, fur, burr, nurse_ etc. It seems to affect only the sequence ...[j(u/U)r] or its outcome, in old French loans-- pure, cure, and the like, plus "sure" and its derivatives. This last gives rise to such exchanges as... "Surely you've studied 'Hamlet'?" "Don't call me Shirley!" Ha ha groan