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Would /ju:/ pronounced as /iu~iw/ mean "an" as the article?
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Author:  Seirios [ Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Would /ju:/ pronounced as /iu~iw/ mean "an" as the article?

A not insignificant number of English dialects pronounce what is /juː/ in RP and GA as some form of /iu/ -- such as /ɪu/ or /iːw/.

Question: what indefinite singular article do speakers of these dialects use before words beginning with such diphthong in their dialect? Is it "a" as other dialects use, especially mainstream and "orthodox" ones, or "an", as would the rule of using the indefinite singular article dictate (i.e. "a" if the next phonological word begins with consonants; "an" if vowels)? Or is it some alternation of the two, so people sometimes use "a" and sometimes "an"?

Examples: usual(-ly), unit(-y), unite(-d), unicorn, union, uniform(-ly), use/usage/using/used, unique(-ly), uvular, university, universe/-al(-ly), unitary/-ily, (? UK, US, UV, URL, U(-whatever) ), ewe, euphonic, euphoric(-ally), euphemism/-istic(-ally), Eucharist, Europe(-an), Euro, Eugene/-nia, euthanasia, eugenic(s), eudemon(-ia), Euclidean

=========================

I post this question because as a L2 English speaker I happen to use such a pronunciation. Recently I find myself unconsciously wanting to use "an" instead of "a" before such words since I've come to the US. I am one single L2 speaker so the linguistic rules I follow might not be exactly so generally true; that's why I'm asking native speakers and other L2 English speakers, and people who have knowledge, experience, or opinions about this.

=========================

Another question that is relevant is, would someone using /iu~iw/ (broadly speaking) distinguish any of these from another in pronunciation: you, yew, ewe (or, yule, you'll) ?

Author:  Axiem [ Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Would /ju:/ pronounced as /iu~iw/ mean "an" as the artic

Can you provide an example word? I'm struggling a little to come up with an example, myself.

Author:  Seirios [ Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Would /ju:/ pronounced as /iu~iw/ mean "an" as the artic


Author:  Jonlang [ Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Would /ju:/ pronounced as /iu~iw/ mean "an" as the artic

Where I come from, in South Wales, many people pronounce it as /ɪw/ or /ɪu̯/ (something like that). So words like use are realised as /ɪwz/ or Europe as /ɪwrʌp/.

Author:  Salmoneus [ Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Would /ju:/ pronounced as /iu~iw/ mean "an" as the artic

My strong intuition is that the pronunciation doesn't affect the 'an'/'a' choice, presumably because that rule is no longer fully productive. But I don't have an accent like that, so I can't say for sure. But I don't think I've ever heard things like "an unicorn".

However, in some dialects some [Iw] is original, so should never have triggered 'an'. It's thus conceivable that a dialect might have "a yew" but "an ewe". And I can sort of imagine some extremely rural dialect still having 'an ewe'. However, I don't actually have contact with those dialects, so I can't say whether that imagination is actually accurate or not.

Author:  KathTheDragon [ Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Would /ju:/ pronounced as /iu~iw/ mean "an" as the artic


Author:  Jonlang [ Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Would /ju:/ pronounced as /iu~iw/ mean "an" as the artic


Author:  Salmoneus [ Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Would /ju:/ pronounced as /iu~iw/ mean "an" as the artic


Author:  Axiem [ Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Would /ju:/ pronounced as /iu~iw/ mean "an" as the artic


Author:  Jonlang [ Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Would /ju:/ pronounced as /iu~iw/ mean "an" as the artic


Author:  clawgrip [ Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Would /ju:/ pronounced as /iu~iw/ mean "an" as the artic


Author:  KathTheDragon [ Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Would /ju:/ pronounced as /iu~iw/ mean "an" as the artic

It may be that Sal's idiolect has begun to lose the rule, and he's overgeneralising.

Author:  Travis B. [ Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Would /ju:/ pronounced as /iu~iw/ mean "an" as the artic


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