'noose' = news

Yagoda, Ben byagoda at UDEL.EDU
Tue Aug 12 13:48:55 UTC 2014

Where is your colleague from? The first time I was aware of hearing "Japanese" and "Chinese" pronounced that way was from my mother-in-law, born (pre-1920) and raised in Chicago.

On Aug 12, 2014, at 9:43 AM, Herb Stahlke wrote:

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Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU<mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>>
Poster:       Herb Stahlke <hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM<mailto:hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM>>
Subject:      Re: 'noose' = news

What you might be hearing is a lack of lengthening in the vowel as we would
expect before a syllable-final lenis consonant.  Unless followed by a
voiced segment, the /z/ of news would devoice anyway.  Without the vowel
length, we would hear devoiced /z/ as [s].  I have a colleague who shortens
the vowel regularly in the suffix -ese, so that "Japanese" and "Chinese"
sound like they end in /-is/.


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