Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 15:02:44 -0700


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/.

Peter McGraw

Linfield College

McMinnville, OR

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?



P.S. "Here" is the Salt Lake City area.