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Re: Vowel Types

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  • Leonardo Castro
    ... It s interesting that dictionaries list words like fire and little as monosyllables but they sound as disyllables to me, especially clearly in songs.
    Message 1 of 54 , Apr 7, 2013
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      2013/4/4 R A Brown <ray@...>:
      > On 04/04/2013 08:02, Nicole Valicia Thompson-Andrews wrote:
      >>
      >> And hear, I thought I was creating something new. It's
      >> still cool.
      >
      >
      > Nope - I'm afraid not. They're common in quite a few languages.
      >
      >> -----Original Message----- From: Constructed Languages
      >> List On Behalf Of George Marques de Jesus Sent:
      >>
      >> Wednesday, April 3, 2013 8:46 PM
      >
      > [snip]
      >>
      >>
      >> Well, Portuguese has triphthongs
      >
      >
      > So do some non-rhotic varieties of _English_, including
      > mine, in words like _fire_, _tower_ etc.

      It's interesting that dictionaries list words like "fire" and "little"
      as monosyllables but they sound as disyllables to me, especially
      clearly in songs. Note that Michael Bublé rhymes "fire" /fai.@/ and
      "higher" /hai.@/:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBrlYtV60GA
      IIRC, there was a Backstreet Boys song that rhymed "desire" with
      "fire" as well...


      [...]

      2013/4/5 Alex Fink <000024@...>:
      > On Fri, 5 Apr 2013 07:14:02 -0300, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:
      >>2013/4/4 Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>:
      >>> Someone could argue that an /o/ in a monosyllabic /iaou/ is just part
      >>> of the path between the /a/ and the /u/ in the vowel space. How can we
      >>> distinguish a syllable /ieEaOou/ from /iau/? From the "curvature" of
      >>> its trajectory on the vowel space diagram?! But is really easy to know
      >>> what is a straight line and a curve there?
      >>
      >>I guess someone will (would?) point out that the distinction between
      >>pairs like /a_^u/ and /a_^o_^u/ (in X-SAMPA symbols) is that a native

      I messed up the symbols. I guess what I meant is better described as
      /au_^/ and /ao_^u_^/.

      >>speaker would easily recognize a combination of existing vowels in his
      >>dialected (shortened or not).
      >
      > Well, I'd be quite surprised if there were a language for which it were correct to use the symbols /au/ and /aou/ (nonsyllabic diacritics don't matter for this point), 'cause those are phoneme symbols, meaning there would be a *contrast* between like a "straight" diphthong and a "bowed" one. That would probably be an imperceptible contrast, unless you started doing artificial things like lingering at the /o/ stage to draw it out, which then might be more sensibly described as vowel length, or so forth.

      And it seems that would-be triphthongs like /auo/ or /aie/ are usually
      separated in two syllables in real life. I think that the Portuguese
      example "comboio" would be pronounced as a triphthong only in fast
      speech: /k~o.bojw/ ; emphatically, I pronounce it as /k~o.bo.io/ (it
      just occurs to me that we'd better use syllable separators "." than
      non-syllabic diacritics).

      >
      > The symbols [au] and [aou] (with appropriate nonsyllabic diacritics) are of course both licit, and it's up to your choice of how broadly or narrowly to transcribe which one you use. Anything that could be transcribed [aou] could also be transcribed [au] in broader contexts.
      >
      > In the real world, I've seen Latvians claiming that Latvian <o> is /uo_^a_^/ and is the only triphthong spelled by a single letter in any language; this might be a case of what you're talking about, 'cause Latvian's non-front vowel inventory is /u(:) a(:)/, with some /o(:)/ in loans. At any rate, people without a nationalist-exceptionalist bias analyse <o> as just /uO_^/.
      >
      >>> If I draw an irregular,
      >>> non-analytical curve on a vowel space diagram, maybe I'll be
      >>> representing an infinitephthong!
      >
      > This bit is delightful. Someone really needs to write up a jokelang with Hilbertphthong(s), and send it to Specgram or whatnot.
      >
      > Alex
    • Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
      ... Yep, I m aware of this phenomenon. There is even something I would call the complaining schwa , which consists in adding a very elongated schwa at the end
      Message 54 of 54 , Apr 10, 2013
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        On 10 April 2013 13:28, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:

        > [...]
        > > However, whether this analysis is valid for the sometimes appearing final
        > > schwa of those French words like _propre_ is not something I'm ready to
        > > decide on yet.
        >
        > A non-native French teacher of mine sometimes put a schwa even in the
        > end of words that didn't have the final <e>: "jour"-> /juR@/.
        >

        Yep, I'm aware of this phenomenon. There is even something I would call the
        "complaining schwa", which consists in adding a very elongated schwa at the
        end of a sentence to signify "disagreement" (well, more like spoiled child
        behaviour that is :P). Mostly used by children, a typical example would be
        a spoiled brat complaining that he's hungry. Rather than simply shout _j'ai
        faim !_ [ʒɛˈfɛ̃], he will probably say something like _j'ai faim
        eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!_ [ʒɛˈfɛ̃.əːːːːːːːːːːːːːːːːːːːːːːːːːːːː], with the
        stressed syllable being very strongly stressed :P .

        Schwas tend to crop up in Spoken French in places where you don't expect
        them. Hence my difficulty to treat them as underlying sounds that just wait
        for the right environment to show up. I expect they mostly come out due to
        euphony, to break difficult clusters, and sometimes to express discontent
        :P .
        --
        Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.

        http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
        http://www.christophoronomicon.nl/
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