Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 15:02:44 -0700
From: Bruce Gelder bgelder[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CAMEL.SIM.ES.COM
Subject: Re: supervisor/coupon
I say /kupan/ and /m[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]rkj[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ri/, but I remember during childhood consciously
changing to those pronunciations, upon correction by my parents
(independently for each word), from /kjupan/ and /m[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]rk[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ri/.
I was kind of hoping to get at least one response delving into the
sociolinguistic aspects of the glide phenomenon. I have a sense (without
supporting data to back it up) that in several of the words that have a glide
in some dialects but that lack it in others, the glide is sociolinguistically
motivated at least as much as it is phonologically motivated. Consider,
for example, the nyuz/nu:z pair (for "news"), or the fIgy[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]r/fIgg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]r pair
(for "figure"). I find that most people I listen to (even Dan Rather)
omit the glide in "figure" (the verb, not the noun), even though most of
them swear up and down that it just ain't so. There seems to be a perception
(around here, at least) that people who omit the glide in "figure" and "news"
are socially inferior to those who pronounce it, but that those who include
the glide in "coupon" and even "mercury" are socially inferior somehow.
Or am I just byarking up the wrong tree?
(bgelder[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]es.com)
P.S. "Here" is the Salt Lake City area.