hyperforeign 'jihad'

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 5 21:08:06 UTC 2007

>From   http://mr-verb.blogspot.com/2007/02/hyperforeign-x.html

One of the coolest linguistics papers around is this one, which established
— to my knowledge at least — the notion of 'hyperforeignism':

Janda, Richard D., Brian D. Joseph, & Neil G. Jacobs. 1994. Systematic
Hyperforeignisms as Maximally External Evidence for Linguistic Rules. The
Reality of Linguistic Rules, edited by Susan Lima, Roberta Corrigan &
Gregory K. Iverson, 67-92. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

They trace how common it is for people to substitute more foreign-sounding
pronunciations in foreign names and words, even when the source language
doesn't have that. So, Beijing and Taj Mahal have (so I'm told) [dž] but
many English speakers avoid that utterly normal affricate for [ž]. And
famously, English speakers think that French drops final consonants, so
people say coup de grace as [gɹa], where French has a final [s] —
producing something that would mean 'blow of fat'.


Basically the idea here is that speakers of one language apply the
traditional sound rules for that language to a word of another language with
spelling rules pronounced differently in that language.   I've named this
tradnountseeng, or tradspeekeeng.

The big problem here is that the world has no one standard phonetic spelling
in common letters of the alphabet that can serve as an intermediary between
languages.  If the intended audience is English and correct pronunciation of
a word is desired, it should not be tradspeld but foespeld such that it the
pronunciation is correct.  In m-w.com I hear the speaker for "jihad" say
~juhhaad, where the "hh" means start of a stressed syllable, and "aa" is as
in "Saab".  The adoption of truespel as a reasonable English friendly,
letter-based system takes care of the problem.

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL4+
See truespel.com and the 4 truespel books at authorhouse.com.

>From: Matthew Gordon <gordonmj at MISSOURI.EDU>
>Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Subject: hyperforeign 'jihad'
>Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2007 14:05:08 -0600
>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Matthew Gordon <gordonmj at MISSOURI.EDU>
>Subject:      hyperforeign 'jihad'
>Last night's 60 Minutes featured a piece on the use of the internet for
>terrorist propaganda. The reporter, Scott Pelley, repeatedly pronounced
>'jihad' with an initial fricative which I suspect is not uncommon for
>journalists. It was striking here, however, since everyone interviewed for
>the piece used the affricate pronunciation.
>You can watch the piece online:
>I'm assuming the affricate is closer to the Arabic which is why I'm
>this an example of hyperforeignism.
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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