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On Sun, Apr 18, 2004 at 05:49:01AM -0700, Philippe Caquant wrote:
> I used to pronounce "blood" like
> it was "bleude" in French (like in "oeuf")

Which sounds reasonable to me.

> (while "floor" I pronounce rather like French "Nord"),

Yup.

> Aaargh ! I have not the faintest idea what "kjr\=" could mean.

You really should consult one of the websites that let you hear the
sounds represented by the IPA symbols (which of course map directly to
X-SAMPA/CXS).  The symbol [r\] represents the usual American English "r"
sound, which is an approximant (have you ever heard G. W. Bush say
"Iraq"?).  Like any approximant, it has a corresponding vowel that is
effectively a drawn-out version of the same sound, but since it has no
place on the official IPA vowel chart, we call it a "vocalic" or
"vowel-like" sound instead.  The vowel that goes with [j] is [i]; the
vowel that goes with [w] is [u]; but since the vocalic that goes with [r\]
doesn't have a separate symbol, we write it [r\=], where the = is the
"syllabic" diacritic.

The combination /@r\/ is realized as [r\=] in many dialects, and in many
of those dialects the distinction between /@r\/ and /Ur\/ has been
neutralized, so that /Ur\/ is also [r\=].  Both of those conditions hold
for my dialect, so that for me, all of these words/syllables rhyme:
"brr" = "burr", "cure", "deter", "exposure", "fur", "grrr", "her",
"jure" = "Ger-" in "German", "kosher", "labor", "mer-" in "mermaid",
"nur-" in "nurse", "per" = "purr", "quiver", "recur", "sir", "ter-" in
"terminal", "utter", "valor", "were", "youngster", and "zither".

-Mark