Date: Thu, 21 Sep 1995 00:34:06 -0400


Subject: /k(y)upanz/

Beth Simon asked:

* Did someone already ask this?


* Are pyulitzer people also kyupon people? And, pulitzer people ku-?


* I think I was a pulitzer/kup)n, and now I'm a pyu/kyu-

* And I'm beginning to suspect that I palatalized "coupon" (a word

* I rarely say, and haven't heard much) when I moved to a kyu

* - area,

* and have dragged the pulitzer prize along with it.

Various people answered:

Wayne Glowka:

* I'm generally not a palatalizer, but coupon is a big exception in my pattern.

Bethany Dumas:

* This pyulitzer person is also a kyupon person. And to me "ku:pan" is

* definitely heard as a hyper-correction.

Lynne Murphy:

* no, i'm a pull-itzer, kyupon person. always have been.

Natalie Maynor:

* I'm a pyulitzer/kyupon person.


I'm definitely a "pull-itzer" "coo-pon" person. Didn't we have a go round last

year some time about the first consonant in _coupon_ and what it has to do

with more general /du/ vs /dyu/ palatalization? I definitely remember trying

to figure out the affect associated with /kyupan/, which sounds to me like

fingernails grating against a blackboard, I'm embarrassed to say. As best I

can reconstruct, I grew up in the NY area with /kyupan/ and then moved south

where I really didn't want to sound like a NY'er. (It was a revelation to me

to read about Labov's linguistic insecurity index and to realize that I was

being a typical NY'er when I didn't want to *sound* like a NY'er.)

So, I honestly don't remember whether I ever said /kyupan/. I suspect that

both pronunciations were around in my home town, a NY City suburb populated

equally by long-timers, ex-city people moving to the suburbs, and

Midwesterners working at corporate headquarters in the area. I remember

playground fights about which is right, _soda_ or _pop_, for instance. And, in

response to Bethany's intuition, I definitely don't feel as if I'm

hyper-correcting when I say /kupan/; I'm just selecting the existing alternant

that doesn't grate.

Alice Faber