This 25th collection of students’ pearls of wisdom, laboriously digitised from hand-
Propose an analysis for the English pronunciations illustrated in datasets A. and B.:
word A. American English B. British English news [nuːz] [njuːz] tuna [ˈtuːnә] [ˈtjuːnә] cute [kjuːt] [kjuːt] few [fjuː] [fjuː] presume [prɪˈzuːm] [prɪˈzjuːm] stupid [ˈstuːpɪd] [ˈstjuːpɪd] duke [duːk] [djuːk] puny [ˈpjuːnɪ] [ˈpjuːnɪ]
Americans will not insert /j/ when it occurs after a coronal.
In A., j doesn’t occur when it is found after [+coronal].
In American, if the preceding sound is alveolar, j doesn’t follow.
The American data show that [n], [j] are sounded by placing the tongue in similar positions, i.e. in front. Hard to make both sounds together.
The onsets before the root or vowel must complement each other phonetically. They must converge during sound production. The onsets produce different sounds that do not converge. When both onsets do not converge, the [j] is made silent. The sound of the foremost onset is produced instead, skipping [j].
The rule is: sounds with distinctive features [+sonorant] [+sonorant] in the onset of a word is unlikely.
In American English, /j/ precedes a syllable, but cannot occur in the beginning of the onset of a syllable in a word if there are two letters in the onset.
Only [+constonantal] sounds can have [j] occur after it.
A. shows that it is not physiologically convenient to produce the sounds /n, t, k, f, z, d, p, j/ in all possible pairings.
[j] is used to emphasize certain words.
[j] does not occur at the beginning of a word in British English.
Consonant + [j] does not occur if it is not preceded by alveolars.
In B., /j/ acts as the vowel /u:/ and therefore these pronunciations are acceptable.
There is insertion of [j] in the British when it is proceeded by a +coronal.
More to come...