Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 14:07:09 -0400
From: Larry Horn
Subject: Re: Beijing /j/

At 10:27 AM -0700 5/13/98, A. Vine wrote:
>But could it possible be that it's easier (lazier?) to use the 'zh'
>rather than the 'dzh' sound? In the case of "Di Giorno", it's certainly
>easier to revert to the 'zh'. Affricates require a tremendous amount of
>mouth work, and US speech seems to lean towards minimal mouth movement.

I think this is basically right for a lot of the cases. This is very much
along the lines of what I think is going on with the ch-->sh in unstressed
syllables "rule". (Besides those Chicago chiropodists with their cheroots,
there's also chinooks and chicanery, both of which typically are sh- rather
than ch- initial, despite their spelling; at least the former is an
unlikely candidate for Frenchification.)

>Interestingly enough, US English tends to be truer to the original
>French pronunciation than British English (e.g. Beaulieu, Ypres,
>lieutenant). Perhaps it is an island mentality, or a long-standing
>history of conflict which causes the Brits to differentiate their

So I've always assumed. We were just discussing variants of
"garage"--doesn't this more or less rhyme with "marriage" in Britain? At
least the latter consonant is as affricated as the former. And I've never
gotten over hearing the Brits refer to Albert Camus as KAY-muss, rhyming
with "squamous".