MR = me
PB = Peter Bleackley
TM = Tristan McLeay

MR> THe Japanese have borrowed the word "fan" (as in sports fan)
MR> and pronounce it [p\an], and don't confuse it with "han".

PB> Of course, Japanese does give you the option of analysing it as [p\u_0an]

TM> Only if it's pronounced that way, and if it's [p\an], it is'nt [p\u_0an].
TM> [...] denotes actual pronunciation:  [t_hIp] and can be easily proved or
TM> disproved (is it actually said like that? no? well, it's not [t_hIp]
TM> then); /.../ denotes the underlying phonemic structure: /tIp/ and cannot
TM> be proved or disproved but only supported by other data.

I suppose it's possible that the underlying structure is /huan/, but
I didn't think /u/ was devoiced before a vowel.  And while I haven't
heard a Japanese pronunciation of "fan" recently, when I did,
it sounded very much like the English to me - moreso than most Japanese
borrowings.  The only real difference was the vowel, which was [A] instead
of [{].