More anglicizing

Tuesday night had another USA-Russia matchup on ESPN2, with which I was able to add to my list
of trancsriptions of Russian last names as anglicized by (North) American broadcasters.

I got the following new items:

Kalinin → kəlínən
Bryzgalov → brɪ̀zgǽlàf
Kasparaitus → kæ̀spərə́jtəs
Yashin → yášən, yǽšən
Datsyuk → dátsùk, dǽtsùk

I knew the last three already but wanted to add them here since it’s basically the same data set. What’s interesting with this bunch is the vascillation with low-vowel nativization. Bryzgalov and Kasparaitus both consistently turned up with [æ], by both broadcasters. (Gary Thorne, the play-by-play guy, is American; Bill Clement, colour commentator and former associate of the Broad Street Bullies, is Canadian). However, the low vowels of Yashin and Datsyuk are both nativized as you might expect: [a] by Thorne and [æ] by Clement.

The vascillation (on Thorne’s part) is difficult to explain, and follows a more general split among borrowed words in American English: El P[æ]so, m[æ]caroni, and At[æ]scadero versus p[a]sta, dr[a]ma, and t[a]co. It doesn’t appear to be phonologically conditioned. I can imagine some other possible determining factors like source language, reference (e.g, place name or not), or age of borrowing, each of which (I would guess) has a probabilistic effect. Need more data!

Unfortunately (for data collection at least), the Russian team was eliminated, 5-3, so we’ll never know how anyone says Zinetula Bilyaletdinov. The result came about in large part by a 4-goal effort by USA forward Keith Tkachuk, whose last name is nativized by deleting its T: [kəčʌ́k].

Other notes: Clement used a palatal in Vishnevski, and kept the /v/: [vɪ̀¬ěnɛ́vski].

Thorne seemed to change his epenthesis/stress pattern for Tverdovsky between last game and this one. Where before it was [tɛ̀vərdórski], stressed like Colorado, now it was [təvərdórski], stressed like of a matter. So do these guys read Phonoloblog? Probably not; he still was saying -dorsky and not -dovsky.

I also have noticed that if you paste a special character from DoulosIPA (the new font) into the “post” window here, it magically converts it to the proper unicode encoding (i.e., &#___;). At first you get a little block for the character, but after hitting “Save and continue editing”, it’s all good. Nice!

5 thoughts on “More anglicizing

  1. Kie

    On the subject of Keith Tkachuk:

    Bob (and others), have you ever noticed how British Columbians pronounce the place name ‘Tsawwassen’ (in English) with the [s] deleted? I don’t think I can do IPA in a comment, so in pseudo-IPA it’s [t3’wAs3n], where [3]=schwa and [A]=script ‘a’. It seems so unnatural to me to delete the [s] rather than the [t]! I can’t imagine an English speaker deleting the [s] in ‘tsunami’.

    I’ve heard this place-name many, many times despite being an infrequent visitor to B.C., since Tsawwassen is where you get the ferry for Vancouver Island.

  2. Bob

    I haven’t ridden enough ferries to have heard of Tsawwassen, but I searched “Tsawwassen pronounced” and got sites such as the following. Apparently, either cluster consonant can be deleted:




    Either is OK

    The only other thing I’ve noticed about British Columbians is how they pronounce ‘Vancouver’, with [ü] as the nucleus of the second syllable.

  3. Kie

    I did some Googling for things like “Tsawwassen pronounced” too, and I just don’t believe some of the pages. (How’s that for empirical rigor? :) )

    But at any rate it’s shocking (to me) that the s-deleting pronunciation is possible at all.

    I do, however, believe the pronunciation that seems to be implied by the apparent older spelling Chewasin.

  4. Bob

    I figured there’d be an older spelling — that’s what I’d been looking for.

    I just browsed through the Yahoo dictionary for words starting with “ts”. The dictionary lets you click on the next or previous entry, so I entered tsunami and worked backwards and forwards. The entries also have a “fō-NĔH-tĭk” transcription (which usually indicated ts- is pronounced ts-) as well as an audio clip (which often indicated otherwise).

    The sound quality on the clips is pretty poor, so I’m not sure how rigourous this can be, but here’s a survey of the entire ts- portion of the dictionary, indicating what sound appeared to be used for each word-initial “ts”:

    tsade: ts
    Tsana: t
    tsar: z
    tsatske: ts
    Tselinograd: t
    tsetse: s
    Tsiaotso: j
    tsimmes: s
    Tsimshian: č
    Tsinan: j
    Tsinghai: t
    Tsingtao: s
    Tsinkiang: s
    tsitsihar: t
    Tsugaru: t
    tsunami: s
    tsuris: s
    tsushima: t
    tsutsugamushi: ts
    Tsvetaeva: tsv
    Tswana: tsw

    If I figure out how to save the clips maybe I’ll do some spectrographic analysis, but I know that sometimes the file compression cuts out the upper end of the frequency range, so it might just be impossible to detect [s] with any reliability – which might account for some of the apparent ts -> t cases I cite above.

  5. Rachel Klippenstein

    I am from B.C., and I would pronounce it “Tawassen” rather than “Sawassen”, though I’ve heard both pronunciations. (Or I might pronounce it “Tsawassen”, with both consonants in the cluster, but that would be a personal oddity.)

    Could the pronunciation be influenced by the spelling? People who read a word are more likely to be “faithful” to the first letter than the second one perhaps?

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