Tuesday, April 5, 2016


A hyperforeignism is a type of qualitative hypercorrection that involves speakers misidentifying the distribution of a pattern found in loanwords and extending it to other environments, including words and phrases not borrowed from the language that the pattern derives from. The result of this process does not reflect the rules of either language. For example, habanero is sometimes pronounced as though it were spelled with an ñ (habañero), which is not the Spanish form from which the English word was borrowed. Hyperforeignization reflects speakers' attitudes about linguistic and cultural stereotypes, particularly those provided by popular media.
Hyperforeignisms can manifest in a number of ways, including the application of the spelling or pronunciation rules of one language to a word borrowed from another, an incorrect application of a language's pronunciation, and pronouncing anglicized words as though they were borrowed more recently. Hyperforeignisms may similarly occur when a word is thought to be a loanword from a particular language when it is not.
Although similar, words that exhibit deliberate language-play (such as pronouncing Report with a silent t in The Colbert Report or ironically pronouncing Target as /tɑːrˈʒ/ tar-ZHAY, as though it were an upscale boutique) are not, strictly speaking, hyperforeignisms. These are, instead, a way of poking fun at those who earnestly adopt foreign-sounding pronunciations of pseudo-loanwords.
Similarly, speakers who echo hyperforeign pronunciations without the intention of approximating a foreign-language pattern are also not practicing hyperforeignization; thus, pronouncing habanero as if it were spelled habañero is not a hyperforeignism if one is not aware that the word has been borrowed from Spanish.

A number of words of French origin feature a final e that is pronounced in English but silent in the original language. For example, forte (used to mean "strength" in English as in "not my forte") is often pronounced /ˈfɔːrt/ or /fɔːrˈt/, by confusion with the Italian musical term of the same spelling (but meaning "loud"), which is pronounced [ˈfɔrte]. In French, the term is pronounced [fɔʁt], with silent final e. Similarly, the noun cache is sometimes pronounced /kæʃ/, as though it were spelled either cachet(meaning "signature") or caché(meaning "hidden"). In French, the final e is silent and the word is pronounced [kaʃ]. The word cadre is sometimes pronounced /ˈkɑːdr/ in English, as though it were of Spanish origin. In French, the final e is silent [kadʁ] and a common English pronunciation is /ˈkɑːdrə/.

The j in the name of the Taj Mahal or raj is often rendered /ʒ/, but a closer approximation to the Hindi sound is //. The j in most words associated with languages of India is more accurately approximated as //.

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