----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Odegard
To: phoNet@egroups.com
Sent: Sunday, April 23, 2000 6:28 AM
Subject: [phoNet] English by the book.
Spelling-pronunciations seem to be more common in the USA than elsewhere in the English-speaking world, and this reflects the Americans' respect for the written word as well as being typical of an "adoptive" language. When people feel linguistically insecure (as immigrants often do), they tend to rely on the spelling of difficult words whenever in doubt.
Here are a few characteristic examples:
Marlboro(ugh) US ['mαɹlbɝoʊ], UK ['mo:lbɹəʊ]
St James US [seɪnt'ʤeɪmz], UK [sn̩̩'ʤeɪmz]
clerk US ['klɝk], UK ['klα:k]
Berkeley, CA [bɝkli], Berkeley, Glos ['bα:klɪ]
Anthony US ['ænθəni], UK ['æntənɪ]
Thames, CT [θeɪmz], Thames, UK ['temz]

There is no real parallel for this phenomenon in any other language. We are speaking of how the *written* representation of a language fundamentally influences the speech patterns of its speakers.  The nearest parallel might be what is happening in North Africa, where Arabic is replacing the Berber languages, but this is a long term process, not the single generation language-switch found in the US. 
If you tilt your head just so, it's possible to say that American English can be described as 'native-speaker E2L'.