Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Wed Jan 11 07:27:29 UTC 2012

On 1/11/2012 1:27 AM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society<ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Benjamin Barrett<gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Japchae
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This is a fascinating theory!
> I have a vague impression that there is an increase in voiced English consonants, which I attribute to the adoption of the Revised Romanization of Korean in 2000 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_romanization), but I have no real evidence of such a change.
> In any case, this points to a point of origin for a spelling diffusion, which is surely a linguistic gem. It may cause an effect of pronunciation differentiation if Anglophones in the Beltway adopt a "ch" sound while those in other areas adopt a "j" sound. ....

I think the new Romanization may very well change the prevalence of
[spelling] pronunciations in the US. [I've noticed the analogous trend
in Chinese (hardly anyone was named "Zhang" /ZaN/ back in the day,
right?), although I guess Gen. Tso seems immune so far.]

I'm not sure I've ever myself seen a spelling with "j" on a menu, or
heard a pronunciation with an obviously voiced initial consonant, but I
might not have noticed.

I think the most frequent spelling in my limited experience is
"chapchae", which would be  a simplified McCune-Reischauer spelling I guess.

Note however that my experience with chapchae is heavily weighted toward
the Midwest (esp. Chicago area), 1971-1989. Now that I've thought of it,
it's high time to go out for some Pittsburgh japchae/chapch'ae/whatever;
I'll see what the menu says.

Any analogous tendency for "kimchi"/"kimchee" to acquire a voiced
initial ("gimchi") so far?

-- Doug Wilson

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list