[Ads-l] sophistication phoneme (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill CIV (US) william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL
Fri May 27 11:24:48 EDT 2016


> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Geoffrey Steven Nathan
> Sent: Friday, May 27, 2016 4:55 AM
> Subject: Re: almond
> The /ae/ pronunciation is found in Canada as well, surprisingly, and there are other 'patriotic vowel' cases there too, similar to the ones
> found in GB. I agree that it's up for grabs who's showing their 'patriotism' vs. who's showing their 'sophistication'.
> There's another sophistication phoneme that we've discussed extensively on this list (while we're coining new sociolinguistic terms I might
> as well claim mine..), namely /zh/ in place of /dzh/ in things like Beijing and Di Giorno.

Sophistication phoneme?  Is that like when people who speak a conversational variety of English try to be hyper-precise when pronouncing
foreign words?  I remember comedian Brian Regan (or perhaps his brother Dennis) doing a routine during the Iran-Contra era about 
newscasters who had no knowledge of the Spanish language or Hispanic culture saying "Manawha Nicarawha" with rolled r's and guttural 
hard c's.  

And often on NPR, you'll hear a reporter embedded in a foreign country use the local pronunciation of a word, rather than the 
conversational American pronunciation.  See, for example, almost any story done by Sylvia Poggioli.


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

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