Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 11:38:02 -0500
From: "Donald M. Lance"
Subject: Re: Beijing /j/

Larry Horn wrote:

> I've usually heard "Chicano"
>with a Spanish affricate rather than a French fricative, but I think
>there's also a phonological process whereby a number of words in which [ch]
>occurs in a totally unstressed syllable is de-affricativized. Consider,
>for example, Chicago (with a [sh]) vs. Chi-town and Chisox ('Chicago White
>Sox') with a [ch]. Or chiropodist, with either initial [k] or [sh], but
>not [ch]. Or cheroot (evidently from Tamil), usually (in my experience)
>[sh] rather than [ch]. I think the key here is not the extension of [+
>French] but the lack of stress on the first syllable; maybe Chicano (in
>losing its [+ Spanish] feature?) is assimilated to this class rather than
>treated as specifically French.

Actually, I've heard only a few people say 'shicano'. Larry's analysis is

Also, as Garland Bills points out, in some dialects of Mexican Spanish
there is alternation between -sh- and -ch-, but the gringos who say
'mashete' wouldn't be imitating the 'munsho' dialect [dialectal
pronunciation of 'mucho'].