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#3738: On the spelling of "youn" - A question


Subject: #3720: On the spelling of "youn" - Lamour comments

> From:YLamour@aol.com
> youn is one of the 6 forms of the haitian creole indefinite article,
> which are on, ou, oun, yon, you, youn... speakers of haitian creole
> use them interchangeably; it all depends on the region of the country
> the speaker happens to have been brought up...
Dear yvon:

    When I first started learning Haitian Creole about a year ago, I
purchased Pimsleur's "Haitian Creole" Language Program. Approximately half
way through Unit 5 on Tape 3, the Creole word "yon" is introduced.
Unfortunately, the accompanying Supplemental Reading Booklet nowhere
indicates how this word is to be spelled. But the pronunciation of this word
is distinctly "yon", and the "o" is pronounced long like the "o" in the
Creole words "yo", "mo", and "kote". The male speaker on the tape nasalizes
the "on" combination much more than the female speaker who hardly nasalizes
it at all.  In some of her pronunciations, I am pretty sure that she is not
nasalizing the word "yon" at all, and in these cases, "yon" would rhyme with
the English words "tone" and "cone". So the "o" in the word "yon" sounds
very much like the "o" in the English word "won't" whereas the "o" in the
Creole word "bon" sounds much like the "aw" combination in the English word
"yawn". The question naturally arises as to whether the word spelled "yon"
would be pronounced differently in the various regions of Haiti.


Michael Fitzpatrick