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Query Details

Query Subject:   Pronunciation of the word "cent" in different languages
Author:   Pfandl Heinrich
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  General Linguistics
Language Family:  Germanic
Latin Subgroup
New English

Query:   Dear colleagues,

I am interested in the following phenomenon:

With the introduction of the new currency, the euro and its smaller
coin, the ''cent'' (the 100th part of a euro/as there are 100 cents to
one euro), the EC is trying to create a new identity for its members.
The name of the smaller coin, ''cent'', looks to me more like a simple
imitation of the American model, which is reinforced by the
pronunciation used in most of the mass-media of German-speaking
countries [sent]. In German the expected pronunciation given this
spelling would or should have been [tsent], which would also have led
to an awareness of the difference between European and American money,
and thus of a separate European identity. In France people seem to
have made the word into ''centimes'', as in their present (French)
currency, in part also to avoid a confusion with the word for
''hundred''. As there are no official directives concerning the
pronunciation of this word, this is a perfect chance for the linguist
to observe, how within a very short time a norm will be established
based exclusively on usage.

Could you, please, let me know how the word is pronounced in your
country and how your language deals with this matter? Thank you.

In your replies offline, please use the address: pfandl@kfunigraz.ac.at
LL Issue: 13.36
Date posted: 09-Jan-2002


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