Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 12:37:01 -0400 From: Jack Chambers Subject: Canadian "choon"? Barbara Harris rightly recognizes herself in a Canadian minority in saying 'choon', 'choozday', and the like. Yod-dropping in Canada is not far behind yod-dropping in the northeastern States. In the youngest speakers, it is nearly unanimous. The dialect Topography of the Golden Horseshoe checked pronunciations with yod in 'student' and 'news' (among others). The 935 respondents representing a cross -section in this 250km strip around the western tip of Lake Ontario, where about one-fifth of the population of Canada live, differed in the percentages of yod-lessness according to age, as follows: Age student news 80+ 44 59 70-79 58 61 60-69 55 65 50-59 58 67 40-49 72 75 30-39 80 81 20-29 83 85 14-19 88 91 Even for the people over 80, pronunciation of yod is minority use in 'news'; it is a slim majority for them in 'student'. They were born in the 1920s. Since then, no age group has pronounced the yod as a majority. These results accord with general impressions. In the last 50 years, schoolteachers, parents and other arbiters have had little to say about retaining yod. It does not appear to be conscious for any identifiable group. Two years ago, ESSO ran a commercial in which the mechanic with his nose stuck in the engine compartment of a car talked about a "CHOON-up" while the owner in a suit with briefcase responded about the "TOON-up".