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. ------------------------------------ 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. ----------------------------------- 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 ================================== http://www.carolandray.plus.com ================================== "Ein Kopf, der auf seine eigene Kosten denkt, wird immer Eingriffe in die Sprache thun." [J.G. Hamann, 1760] "A mind that thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language".