Alex Fink wrote:

>So we're not going to count "Pyongyang" as an English word. Nor "nyet".
>Nor "Viet" nor "Vietnam". How about "Ginnangu Giap"?

> Don't get me started ;-)  When I'm playing with these sorts of things my
tastes run to *extreme* phonological conservatism ..
I'm with you there. At least until we borrow a thousand or so such words..... (What is Ginnangu Giap or whatever??)

> Die die die all you bastard furrin sounds, besmirching our native

That's a bit much :-)))

Aaanyway.  I did exclude recent borrowings in the first line of my first
quoted message I trimmed out, and all of your examples are recent borrowings
(if even) if I'm calling the shots.  (And I think "ginnunga giap" is an
error; I've seen only "ginnungagap", no 2nd "i".)

> And for what it's worth I do think that the analysis of these sorts of
sequences as /Ci'V/ rather than /C'jV/ has a good amount of merit to it.  I
say /'vi(j)@t/ /vi@t'nAm/, for instance -- and I don't know how general that
is, but I _do_ know that "Myanmar" was supposed to have first syllable
/mj&n/ in English 

Still, a lot of us can get our tongues around those /Cj-/s, perhaps precisely because of....

> And / /pi.&no/ sound entirely fine to me as
native pronunciations of the more integrated words "meow" "piano", even
though I have /Cj/ in those.  

Some years back we had a similar discussion about "permissible" onsets. I recall that "piano" cropped up there; also the constraint against labial+w, except in some Spanish loans (Puerto Rico, Buenos Aires) and "bwana".

On /sju-/ vs. /su-/, I have the latter.  There is an alternate pronunciation of the plant "sumac" my /'sum&k/  others /Sum&k/,