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207Re: palatalized /l/

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    Aug 19, 2002
      I'd like to comment on a couple of things I wrote in my editorial addendum
      to S├ębastien's latest post:

      > Whereas, in the Eldarin tongues, the _l_ sound in the same environment is
      > a _palatal_ lateral (the inverted "y" of the IPA),

      When I wrote this, I was relying on a Web-based description of the IPA. I've
      since looked up the matter in a better source (which I highly recommend to
      all list members), Pullum and Ladusaw's _Phonetic Sympbol Guide_. The sound
      I wanted to convey is more precisely called a "turned y" (it looks like a
      "y" rotated by 180 degrees). It is there equated with Italian _gli_ and
      Castillian _ll_ (which, if I understand those correctly, may be more
      strongly palatal than the Eldarin _l_ in palatal environment, but it's an

      > To my mind, this sort of distinction is part and parcel with the distinction
      > that Tolkien makes in the Appendices between the pure vowel sounds of Eldarin
      > (and Italian), as opposed to the diphthongal nature of the corresponding
      > vowels in English, and carries with it the same admonition to the English
      > reader against employing the complex sounds natural to them, but instead to
      > articulate the sounds purely.

      One important difference in these situations, however, is the fact that the
      pure vowel sounds are _always_ pronounced purely in Eldarin; while the
      palatal _l_ is an _allophone_ of /l/, occurring in palatal environments.


      | Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org |
      | |
      | ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
      | Ars longa, vita brevis. |
      | The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
      | "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
      | such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
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