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Re: Most phonetically beautiful sentence in a natlang

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  • Roger Mills
    Somewhere in my ancient research I read of a tribal language in Indonesia where the men  pronounced the /s/ phoneme as [s]. while the women used [h]. I don t
    Message 1 of 46 , Aug 29, 2013
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      Somewhere in my ancient research I read of a tribal language in Indonesia where the men  pronounced the /s/ phoneme as [s]. while the women used [h]. I don't think that would lead to too much confusion.

      Robin Lakoff, years ago, and Deborah Tannen (IIRC) have pointed out different intonation patterns for women in Amer.English.



      ________________________________
      From: Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets <tsela.cg@...>
      To: CONLANG@...
      Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2013 5:31 AM
      Subject: Re: Most phonetically beautiful sentence in a natlang


      On 29 August 2013 11:04, Alex Fink <000024@...> wrote:

      > The language is now called Garifuna, and apparently most of the
      > speaker-gender contrasts are obsolescent, though it seems to still survive
      > robustly enough in the singular pronouns:  men have 1sg _au_, 2sg _amürü_,
      > 3sg _ligía_, women 1sg _nugía_ 2sg _bugía_ 3sg _tugía_.  (_ü_ is /1/ I
      > think.)
      >
      >
      Such speaker-gender contrast can be very stable actually. Cue for instance
      Japanese, where it's well known that males and females will use different
      sets of personal pronouns (although some personal pronouns are somewhat
      neutral and can be used by both). It goes further, with differences in
      grammar and lexicon as well, although one cannot talk about different
      languages.

      Gender "diglossia" is not an unknown phenomenon, although it usually
      appears as dialectical differences at most (slight phonological and grammar
      changes, often different lexemes as used by men and women). Typically men
      will know the women's dialect and vice-versa, but they'll never speak it,
      except when quoting a member of the opposite sex.

      Such a phenomenon appears usually in societies with very strict gender role
      distinctions, especially ones where men and women don't often interact with
      each other. The relative isolation of the male and female communities
      results in effectively two partially separate linguistic groups, whose
      lects start to diverge. The strict distinction in gender roles and
      behaviours in the culture ensures that the divergence stays stable: the
      different speech patterns become seen as part of the male or female
      identity. And indeed, I read that in societies where such diglossia used to
      be common and stable for centuries, a change in cultural behaviour in the
      form of a loss of the traditional gender role distinctions will usually
      result in a (quite rapid) loss of the male and female language
      distinctions: the two dialects will merge again in a single form, although
      some small differences may linger longer than others.
      --
      Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.

      http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
      http://www.christophoronomicon.nl/
    • Leonardo Castro
      ... Just imagine that, for some random fashion, it starts to be considered cute to pronounce non-flapped intervocalic t and to omit final r in AmE . So,
      Message 46 of 46 , Aug 29, 2013
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        2013/8/29 Roger Mills <romiltz@...>:
        > Somewhere in my ancient research I read of a tribal language in Indonesia where the men pronounced the /s/ phoneme as [s]. while the women used [h]. I don't think that would lead to too much confusion.
        >
        > Robin Lakoff, years ago, and Deborah Tannen (IIRC) have pointed out different intonation patterns for women in Amer.English.

        Just imagine that, for some random fashion, it starts to be considered
        "cute" to pronounce non-flapped intervocalic "t" and to omit final "r"
        in AmE . So, women could start to pronounce "better" as [b'Et@] while
        men would avoid this "non-masculine" pronunciation and pronounce
        [b'E4@r].

        Actually, there is at least one pronunciation features apparently more
        associated with young females in BrP, the elongation of nasals; listen
        to people imitating it in the following video, at times 4:15 and 5:07:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRyCUu5lHiY

        This video shows the parts of two interviews with humorists where they
        imitate several BrP regional accents. They are somewhat exaggerated
        the most typical regional features, but I think that the imitations
        really give a good idea of what the real accents sound.

        (I had previously sent this message only to Roger but I intended to
        send to the list.)

        >
        >
        >
        > ________________________________
        > From: Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets <tsela.cg@...>
        > To: CONLANG@...
        > Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2013 5:31 AM
        > Subject: Re: Most phonetically beautiful sentence in a natlang
        >
        >
        > On 29 August 2013 11:04, Alex Fink <000024@...> wrote:
        >
        >> The language is now called Garifuna, and apparently most of the
        >> speaker-gender contrasts are obsolescent, though it seems to still survive
        >> robustly enough in the singular pronouns: men have 1sg _au_, 2sg _amürü_,
        >> 3sg _ligía_, women 1sg _nugía_ 2sg _bugía_ 3sg _tugía_. (_ü_ is /1/ I
        >> think.)
        >>
        >>
        > Such speaker-gender contrast can be very stable actually. Cue for instance
        > Japanese, where it's well known that males and females will use different
        > sets of personal pronouns (although some personal pronouns are somewhat
        > neutral and can be used by both). It goes further, with differences in
        > grammar and lexicon as well, although one cannot talk about different
        > languages.
        >
        > Gender "diglossia" is not an unknown phenomenon, although it usually
        > appears as dialectical differences at most (slight phonological and grammar
        > changes, often different lexemes as used by men and women). Typically men
        > will know the women's dialect and vice-versa, but they'll never speak it,
        > except when quoting a member of the opposite sex.
        >
        > Such a phenomenon appears usually in societies with very strict gender role
        > distinctions, especially ones where men and women don't often interact with
        > each other. The relative isolation of the male and female communities
        > results in effectively two partially separate linguistic groups, whose
        > lects start to diverge. The strict distinction in gender roles and
        > behaviours in the culture ensures that the divergence stays stable: the
        > different speech patterns become seen as part of the male or female
        > identity. And indeed, I read that in societies where such diglossia used to
        > be common and stable for centuries, a change in cultural behaviour in the
        > form of a loss of the traditional gender role distinctions will usually
        > result in a (quite rapid) loss of the male and female language
        > distinctions: the two dialects will merge again in a single form, although
        > some small differences may linger longer than others.
        > --
        > Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.
        >
        > http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
        > http://www.christophoronomicon.nl/
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