Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM
Mon Nov 29 23:52:00 UTC 1999

Dale Coye <Dfcoye at AOL.COM> asked

In Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing   Sal, the owner of a pizzeria, pronounces
it as if it were  pizz ur EE uh-  Does anyone know if this is common in NYC
or among Italian-Americans elsewhere?

Robert Kelly <kelly at BARD.EDU> replied:

I grew up in a little Sicily in Brooklyn, and never heard it otherwise
than [pitz at r'i@] by Italo-Americans, i.e. pitz-ur-EE-uh.  Of course
Italians said it with different vowels, but the same stress.  How else is
it said?  RK

I grew up in NYC, mid-fifties to mid-sixties. It was always
     pizza         'pi:ts@
     pizzeria      ,pi:ts@'ri:@
("@" = schwa)

I assume you're using "zz" (DC) and "tz" (RK) for [ts], since I've *never* heard
[z] (or [z:]) or [tz] in these words, unless possibly from a non-English-speaker
who'd never heard them pronounced by a native.

-- Mark A. Mandel

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