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On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 8:49 AM, Douglas Koller <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Eric Christopherson" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 12:33:57 AM
> Subject: Re: USAGE: how did English initial <x> come to be /z/?
>
> On Sep 6, 2010, at 7:35 PM, Alex Fink wrote:
>
> > Just as it says on the tin: I've just realised I have no idea how the
> > English rule that initial <x-> is /z-/ might've come about.
>
> I asked about that a while back, but I've looked everywhere and can't find
> it. I think Ray responded, but I don't remember exactly what he said; I
> think part of it was that it was pronounced /gz/ initially for a while.
>
> Since initial /gz/ is a foreigner in a foreign land in English, that it
> would reduce to /z/, as it does for most English words in initial <x> is not
> as big surprise. But just to throw it in the mix, the name "Xavier" can be
> pronounced as if it were pronounced like "exactly" (and all the bad puns
> that Vincent Price as Egghead regaled on Batman ("eggcellent",
> "eggzemplary", etc.)). So, many a Catholic educational institution, at least
> here, come off as St. Xavier's [log in to unmask] The 40's-50's Latino
> entertainer Xavier Cugat is normally /Eg'zevi@r/, maybe /eg'zaviEr/ in a
> pinch. Left alone, "Xavier" might conjure up [log in to unmask] Javier Bardem went
> for the "j", so he's spared all this.
>
> Kou
>

Don't forget Dr. Xavier of the X-Men, also pronounced as above.

Adam