Pronunciation of "Ngaio"

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Sat May 9 18:29:27 UTC 2009

>i've heard
>people here with no clear connection to that community pronounce
>'Nguyen' with a word-initial [N], usually as [NaI.*n].

Lucky you! Here in multicultural Toronto, I've heard the same name
said [juN] and [nudZEn] and [nugEn]. [NaI at n] isn't quite a match to
the Vietnamese, either, but it's much closer (ISTR it's more like
[Nujn] - according to what I was told by one person bearing the
name). Nonetheless, I agree that the trend is towards being able (or
should I say willing) to pronounce the velar nasal word initially.

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society -

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