Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

203001Re: THEORY: Facility to pronounce other languages as a function of your native language

Expand Messages
  • BPJ
    May 6, 2014
      2014-05-05 14:18, C. Brickner skrev:
      > This reminds me of something I've been pondering for some time.
      > Senjecas has a number of minimal pairs that involve long and
      > short vowels. I'm trying to hear the difference as I speak
      > Senjecas and am not sure I hear it.

      Just exaggerate the length of the long vowels as much as you need
      to hear the difference. Once you're used to making and hearing
      the distinction they will hopefully settle at a more natural
      length of about double that of a short vowel. Most Western
      Sanskritists habitually exaggerate the length of long vowels to
      be at least thrice that of a short vowel, and will usually stress
      a final long vowel. That's not the canonical pronunciation --
      e.g. _Prajñāparamitā_ should really be stressed on the *first*
      _ā_ but we stress it on the second, and a word like _pāragatē_
      'gone beyond (f.sg.vocative)' gets stressed on both long vowels
      -- but the important thing is that the distinction is preserved.
      By contrast Western Sanskritists mostly ignore consonant
      quantity, but it plays a much less important role grammatically.
      Classicists OTOH mostly ignore quantity of both vowels and
      consonants IME, *except* the ablative singualar of Latin feminine
      a-stems! :-)

      > Does Finnish have any minimal pairs that involve long and short
      > vowels? If so, please giveme a few examples. Thanks.

      It has minimal pairs both between short/long vowels and
      short/long consonants. What about this set:

      to come to blow
      ---------- ---------- -------------------------------
      tule! tuule! 2sg. present imperative
      tulee tuulee 3sg. present indicative
      tulle tuulle present potential connegative
      tullee tuullee 3sg. present potential

      All these words are disyllabic, all are stressed on the first
      syllable, each letter represents one mora, and all letters have
      their IPA value! Of course any vowel, and any consonant except /h
      ʋ j/, can be both short or long, but the advantage of a sonorant
      like [l] is that even us furriners can make the difference with
      only a little effort! Also the potential suffix -- which is
      rather literary -- is actually _-ne_ but gets assimilated to /l/
      in these forms. It means something like "it is likely that...".
      The connegative is the form you use after the negative verb.
      The present indicative connegative and the 2sg. imperative are
      identical, BTW.


      > Charlie

      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "BPJ"
      > To: CONLANG@...
      > Sent: Monday, May 5, 2014 5:53:12 AM
      > Subject: Re: THEORY: Facility to pronounce other languages as a function of your native language
      > Generally it is of course not the count of phonemes/contrasts in your L1
      > which matters, but the degree to which your L1 and the other language make
      > *the same* contrasts which makes it easier, and the degree to which the
      > other language makes *more contrasts* or *different contrasts* which makes
      > it harder. Often you are even better understood if you make a relevant
      > contrast in not quite the right way rather than not making it at all. For
      > example Finnish has long obstruents /pp tt kk ss/ after long vowels, short
      > /p t k s/ after short vowels and consonant length distinction in
      > unstressed syllables, all of which is very hard for a Swedish speaker, but
      > if I pronounce Finnish "d" as [ɽ] which is an easy sound for me and /p t k
      > s/ as [b d g z] Finnish speakers understand me better even though those
      > sounds don't have a place in a real Finnish accent, because I don't
      > conflate short and long obstruents anymore. Strangely it's easier for me to
      > affect [z] than pairing VVCC and VC! Likeways when I and my wife met she
      > conflated Swedish /y/ and /ʉ/ but her Finnish /y/ sounds like a Swedish
      > /ʉ/, a Swedish /y/ being 'sharper', so that her _ny_ 'new' sounded like
      > _nu_ 'now'. I suggested to her to pronounce Swedish /y/ like the Finnish
      > diphthong /yi/ and Swedish /ʉ/ like Finnish /y/, and from that moment on
      > her Swedish was a lot easier to understand! Interestingly she knew the
      > right distribution of the two sounds; she had just not been able to
      > pronounce them differently.
      > /bpj
      > Den 30 apr 2014 02:18 skrev "Leonardo Castro" <leolucas1980@...>:
      >> Em 30/04/2014 00:56, "Leonardo Castro" <leolucas1980@...> escreveu:
      >>> Naturally, there are individual differences. The South American I know
      >> personally that speak French better is actually a Colombian guy. If I
      >> included those that I don't know personally, I would probably choose a
      >> Colombian girl: Shakira.
      >> I messed things up here... I would maybe choose Shakira as the Latin South
      >> American who pronounces English (not French, as it appears in the sentence)
      >> with the best pronunciation. But, well, she also speaks Brazilian
      >> Portuguese very well. I don't know how good is her French...
      >>> Até mais!
      >>> Leonardo
    • Show all 5 messages in this topic