Day: January 4, 2017

Why do the English say “leftenant” and the Americans say “lootenant” when the spelling of “lieutenant” indicates a pronunciation like “lyewtenant”?

By: | Post date: 2017-01-04 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: English, Linguistics

The American “lootenant” is easy: it’s a general rule of American English that [ju] after alveolar consonants is reduced to [u]: news, tune = nooz, toon. In British English, they are nyooz, tyoon. (And there is variation within American English.) The lack of a French pronunciation is also regular: French ieu is rendered in English […]