Date: Sat, 19 Feb 1994 01:51:25 -0700


Subject: Re: /k(j)upan/

Howdy, y'all:

I did not learn until a few years ago (I think it was either when

I moved to Washington D.C. or more likely to Illinois) that there were people

in the world who did NOT say /kyuwpan/. Something vaguely triggers a memory

that the argument was made that this is a FRENCH word, and so should "properly"

be pronounced /kuwpan/ (never mind the proper pronunciation of the second

syllable). I have heard the same rationale given for pronouncing route

as /ruwt/ rather than as the naturally

Great Vowel Shifted /rawt/, the only pronunciation I think I was aware of

until I studied linguistics (or maybe later, after my Ph.D.). Both I suspect

represent transplants from Britain, where French is more sedulously cultivated

in the educational system than here. I would expect the effect likewise to

be stronger in the Northeast, where French is also more cultivated than

elsewhere in the country, and to be associated with the lingering prestige

which things French have in the English world.

Rudy Troike