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209Re: [Lambengolmor] Re: palatalized /l/

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  • Ivan A Derzhanski
    Aug 19, 2002
      "Carl F. Hostetter" wrote:
      > I'd like to comment on a couple of things I wrote in my editorial
      > addendum to Sébastien's latest post:
      > > Whereas, in the Eldarin tongues, the _l_ sound in the same
      > > environment [_sc._ between /e/ or /i/ and pause] is a _palatal_
      > > lateral (the inverted "y" of the IPA),
      > 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 approximation).

      I have to disagree, Carl. The palatal lateral approximant is
      the sound written in Quenya as _ly_. What you're saying here
      amounts to equating the sound in the middle of _elye_ to the
      one in the middle of _elen_ (which can hardly be different
      from the one at the end of _él_).

      Here's how I see it: There is the regular dental/alveolar
      lateral approximant, written as <l> in IPA, and there is
      the same sound velarised -- the main place of articulation
      is still just behind the teeth, but in addition the back
      of the tongue is raised towards the velum and its body
      lowered away from the palate -- written in IPA as <l>
      with a tilde across it. Note that the plain sound is
      not palatalised as such, but it's less not palatalised
      than the velarised one, if you see what I mean.

      Now in English final /l/ is always velarised, whereas in
      French, German, Czech etc. it isn't. In Turkish, otoh,
      final /l/ is velarised after a back vowel, but not after
      a front vowel. My idea is that Quenya and Sindarin are
      like Turkish.

      When an English word such as _bell_ or _fill_ reaches
      the ear of a Sindarin speaker, he hears a front vowel,
      but then the kind of palatal approximant that he's only
      accustomed to hearing after back vowels. On the basis
      of the effect his mind reconstructs the likely cause,
      an intervening back vowel that isn't really there.

      (Note that I have no use here for the possible hypothesis
      that Elvish /l/ is palatalised -- not palatal! -- after
      front vowels, but what I've said is consistent with it.)

      <fa-al-_haylu wa-al-laylu wa-al-baydA'u ta`rifunI
      wa-as-sayfu wa-ar-rum.hu wa-al-qir.tAsu wa-al-qalamu>
      (Abu t-Tayyib Ahmad Ibn Hussayn al-Mutanabbi)
      Ivan A Derzhanski <http://www.math.bas.bg/ml/iad/>
      H: cplx Iztok bl 91, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria <iad@...>
      W: Dept for Math Lx, Inst for Maths & CompSci, Bulg Acad of Sciences
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