Date: Thu, 17 Feb 1994 04:58:17 -0600
From: Natalie Maynor maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]RA.MSSTATE.EDU
Subject: Re: [u]/[ju]
Everyone will first tell you to check PEAS first, or you might look
for a quick-shot at the McDavid supplement to Nelson Francis' grammar (the
summary charts actually prepared by E. Bagby Atwood, though uncredited).
Thanks for the suggestions. Somebody else sent me private mail mentioning
an article by Ann Pitts in -American Speech-. I'm going to look for it
when I get to my office today.
I'm a /yuw/ speaker (I don't like them furrin IPA symbols), but have been
amused at newscasters who get things mixed up and report the /nyuwn nuwz/.
I also am a /ju/ speaker (I don't know what to do with OE or French if I
let the /y/ move over to /j/). What has gotten me interested in this
subject was that two different Canadians recently have said that they
thought that all US speakers pronounced words like "news" as [nuz]. It's
funny that these two people mentioned this at about the same time, one
in direct e-mail and the other on WORDS-L. The comment on WORDS-L started
a discussion of the topic in which many USAers said yes, that they did
say [nuz] and were confident it was the common US pronunciation. That
surprised me. Although I've certainly heard it, I hear [njuz] far more
often -- I think. We also got into some interesting discussions of which
words seem to use [u] in all dialects, which vary, and why.
--Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ra.msstate.edu)