Date: Thu, 9 Mar 1995 16:20:09 -0800
From: Peter McGraw pmcgraw[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CALVIN.LINFIELD.EDU
Subject: Re: suite /sut/
On Thu, 9 Mar 1995, Tom Murray wrote:
Does anyone have any data, formal or informal, on *suite* pronounced /sut/, as
in "My parents just bought a new bedroom /sut/"? It occurs more frequently tha
n you might think, and not just among speakers with relatively low levels of ed
ucation. (My mother-in-law, for example, who has a Master's Degree and many ye
ars of experience both in public education and in business, regularly uses the
pronunciation, as does my wife, an attorney.) Beth Simon and I are collecting
attestations, and would appreciate any help that readers of this list can provi
--Tom Murray (TEM[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]KSUVM.KSU.EDU)
How are you defining "attestations"? Complete with speaker name and
date, or more loosely defined?
I first encountered this pronunciation when we were buying a house in
Chattanooga, TN, in 1970, then learned that it was the universal
pronunciation there. A fellow graduate student at the U. of Wisconsin from
Arkansas, when I repeated it to him, told me that anyone in Arkansas who
said [swi:t] for 'suite' would be perceived as putting on airs.
Not long after that, to my surprise I heard my great aunt use the [su:t]
pronunciation. She had no higher education but was well read and came
from a family that considered itself "refined." Her speech
(phonologically, at least) was northern, though she lived most of her life
in Oklahoma (mother born in Illinois, father born in England).