Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Mon Apr 4 19:37:57 UTC 2005

On Apr 4, 2005, at 12:20 PM, Mark A. Mandel wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Mark A. Mandel" <mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Nicaragua
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> Barbara Need <nee1 at MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU> writes:
> The sound spelled "g" in Spanish somewhat resembles the sound spelled
> with the same letter in Dutch. Otherwise, the pronunciation of
> Nicaragua in English is only trivially distinct from its pronunciation
> in English. How does an English-speaker pronounce "Nicaragua" in such a
> way as to sound pretentious?
> <<<
> In Latin American pronunciation the intervocalic /g/ is often
> fricativized,
> and /gw/ often becomes /w/. The first vowel in "Nicaragua" is [i:] in
> Spanish and [I] in English, the "a"s are [a] rather than schwa, and
> the /r/
> is a tap rather than a retroflex liquid.
> As for pretentious, see my previous e-mail.
> -- Mark A. Mandel
> [This text prepared with Dragon NaturallySpeaking.]

Using the foreign pronunciation of a foreign word in the middle of a
sentence otherwise in English is, to my mind, simply not "pretentious."
I can't see any reason why anyone would care. However, to those who
*do* care and for whom such a thing *is* pretentious, I can say only,
"Different strokes for different folks."

-Wilson Gray

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