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Paul Kershaw wrote:
>>> Which is why everyone says "sunami". :)
>>> 
>>> --Ron
> 
> Not everyone. I say [tsunami]. 

Yes indeed - _not_ everyone. Not only do I say [tsu'nami] but I also 
hear [tsu'nami] or [tsu'nAmi] being said at least as often as 
pronunciations with just initial [s].

> Unlike "karaoke," though, I don't
> remember a time I didn't say it that way, so I don't think I picked
> it up in Japanese class. My wife (who's of Polish descent) points out
> that "ts" syllable-initial is common in Slavic languages (e.g.,
> "tsar," 

Yep - and now the spelling _tsar_ has become the most common one over 
hear in RightPondia, I not infrequently hear this pronounced with 
initial [ts] rather than the 'traditional' initial [z] of the older 
_czar_ spelling.
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Roger Mills wrote:
 > Gary Shannon wrote:
 >
 >> I thought "tsunami" was a Japanese word. I
 >> can't think of
 >> any native Enlgish words that start with a "TS"
 >> cluster.
 >
 > tsetse and tsar, beloved of crossword puzzle makers.

Yep - and as I wrote not so long back, _tsetse_ IME varies here between 
/'tEtsi/ and /'tsEtsi/ according to speaker.
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Mark J. Reed wrote:
 > Indeed.  Just like the "ch" in "ichiban", "tamagotchi",etc - also
 > phonemically /t/, or perhaps /t:/, is not a /tS/ cluster, nor the "j"
 > in "dojo" a /dZ/ one.  Since we have those affricates in English, we
 > don't think of them as clusters, but /ts)/ is just as much a single
 > phone in many other languages.

Exactly. The [ts)] at the beginning of _tsunami_, _tsar_ and _tsetse_, 
for those who pronounce them that way, is an *affricate*, just as the 
initial sounds of _cheer_ and _jeer_ are. It just so happens that while 
initial [tS)] and [dZ)] are common in English, initial [tS)] is 
marginal, occurring only in some anglophones' pronunciation of certain 
words of foreign origin.

IMO it is misleading to refer to affricates as clusters. Japanese has no 
initial consonant clusters.

-- 
Ray
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