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Furrin phones in my own lect!

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Thursday, March 16, 2006, 17:59
One thing that I only became aware of after reading JC Wells' book is
that there are several sounds I had thought of as foreign, non-English
sounds, that actually occur in my own everyday variety of English!
This came as something as a shock, but I cannot dispute it.  Careful
attention to my speech reveals, for instance, that the word
"cucumber", which I think of as beginning with /kj/, actually comes
out of my mouth with an aspirated palatal affricate [c_hC], although
the initial stop feels closer to [k] than [c] - maybe it's [k_j].  And
while words like "huge" and "human" normally have a real [hj] cluster
to match my phonemic /hj/,  they likewise occasionally start with [C]
instead-  perhaps an overcorrection in my desire to avoid the
to-me-distasteful (despite being historically correct!) pronunciation
with a bare initial [j].

Then there's the rampant labialization, palatalization, and
nasalization!  "Queen" may be /kwin/ phonemically, but it comes out as
[k_w_hi~J_}].  Holy crap!

Anyone else had an experience like this?  Maybe if I'd had more than
one quarter of linguistics in college I would have had this a-ha
moment in class instead of when I read the book, but it really sort of
blew me away.
Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>


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