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Re: palatalized /l/

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    I d like to comment on a couple of things I wrote in my editorial addendum ... When I wrote this, I was relying on a Web-based description of the IPA. I ve
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 19, 2002
      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 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
      approximation).

      > 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." |
      |======================================================================|
    • Sébastien Bertho
      ... I ve seen, on a chart of unicode characters (http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U0300.pdf), a sign described as IPA palatalization (#0321). It s a small
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 19, 2002
        Carl Hostetter wrote :

        >> the _l_ sound in the same environment 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've seen, on a chart of unicode characters
        (http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U0300.pdf), a sign described as IPA
        palatalization (#0321). It's a small hook, (looking left) that is here said
        to correspond to the small /j/ of the IPA.
        Could it be possible to transcribe the palatalized /l/ with this small hook
        added to a normal [l] ? Or is it used for a normal palatalization (perhaps
        too strong to transcribe the Elvish sound) ?

        In his "Dictionnaire des langues elfiques, volume 1 - quenya", Edouard
        Kloczko transcribe the palatalized /l/ with the same kind of small hook, but
        turned right . Looking to the unicode chart, this sign (#0322) is said to
        be used for "retroflexion" in the IPA.

        I'm quite lost !

        Sébastien
      • Ivan A Derzhanski
        ... [...] ... 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
        Message 3 of 8 , 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
        • Ales Bican
          ... [...] ... **I may be wrong, but my understanding of it is different. Tolkien wrote that L was to some degree palatalized in the environments in
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 19, 2002
            "Carl F. Hostetter" wrote:

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

            **I may be wrong, but my understanding of it is different. Tolkien wrote
            that L was "to some degree 'palatalized'" in the environments in question.
            He wrote "palatalized" not "palatal". As far as I know there may be two
            distinct softened l's, at least Slovak (the language I mentioned earlier) has
            a palatal _l_ and palatalized _l_, although the difference in sound between
            them is very small and just phonetic, not phonologic. As far as I know the
            palatal _l_ occurs in Spanish (_calle_ "street") and the palatalized one in
            Russian.

            I think that the sound Tolkien had in mind is a *palatalized* _l_ and
            indeed an allophone of /l/, while the *palatal* _l_ is a phoneme which
            is transcribed as _ly_ in Quenya and would be the sound transcribed
            by the "turned y" in IPA.


            Ales Bican

            --
            Mi dissero che a quell'epoca per quindici giorni e quindici notti
            i retori Gabundus e Terentius discussero sul vocativo di _ego_,
            e infine vennero alle armi. (Umberto Eco, _Il nome della rosa_)


            [I think you are right, Ales. In fact, the main point of my original editorial
            addendum to S�bastien's post was that the _l_ Tolkien is describing in the
            environment of the front vowels _e_ and _i_ is (probably) _not_ the same as
            the _ly_ that was then under discussion. I didn't choose my terms very
            carefully, though -- I should have observed a strict distinction between
            _palatalized l_ (the sound Tolkien is indicating) and a _palatal l_ (the sound
            represented by IPA turned y). It was this lapse on my part that led me into
            picking, erroneously I now think, the turned y as the indicated sound. I'm not
            sure what the proper representation of a palatalized l is in the IPA, but it is
            apparently not the turned y. Thanks for clarifying the matter. Carl]
          • Jérémie Knuesel
            Did Tolkien use a name more specific than the language of the Rohirrim to refer to this tongue? The word Rohirric commonly used doesn t seem to appear in
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 25, 2002
              Did Tolkien use a name more specific than "the language of the Rohirrim" to
              refer to this tongue? The word 'Rohirric' commonly used doesn't seem to
              appear in any Tolkien text, and I could not find the word 'Rohirian' in
              "The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor" in VT42, though I read somewhere
              that it was.

              Namárie,

              Jérémie K.

              [I've done some searching and can find no occurrence of the term
              "Rohirric" in Tolkien's writings. (Perhaps someone else will have better
              luck?) Very interesting! The terms I have been able to find are "the
              language of Rohan", "Rohan" (in contrast with "Hobbit") in various places
              in _The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor_, and, once in the same essay,
              "Rohanese" (VT42:8; the term "Rohirian" does not occur in that text). Carl]
            • Arden R. Smith
              I wonder who first used the term Rohirric. To the best of my knowledge, the earliest attestation is in The One Inconsistency in LotR by Robert Foster,
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 25, 2002
                I wonder who first used the term "Rohirric." To the best of my
                knowledge, the earliest attestation is in "The One Inconsistency in
                LotR" by Robert Foster, _Parma Eldalamberon_ #1 (Autumn 1971), p. 9.

                --
                ********************************************************************
                Arden R. Smith erilaz@...

                "Do you know Languages? What's the French for fiddle-de-dee?"
                "Fiddle-de-dee's not English," Alice replied gravely.
                "Who ever said it was?" said the Red Queen.

                --Lewis Carroll,
                _Through the Looking-glass_
                ********************************************************************
              • Ales Bican
                ... **I think it would be an _l_ with a small superscript _j_. Similarly, labialization would be represented with a superscript _w_ and aspiration with a
                Message 7 of 8 , Sep 5, 2002
                  Carl F. Hostetter wrote:

                  > I'm not sure what the proper representation of a palatalized l is in
                  > the IPA, but it is apparently not the turned y. Thanks for clarifying
                  > the matter.

                  **I think it would be an _l_ with a small superscript _j_. Similarly,
                  labialization would be represented with a superscript _w_ and
                  aspiration with a superscript _h_.


                  Ales Bican

                  --
                  Mi dissero che a quell'epoca per quindici giorni e quindici notti
                  i retori Gabundus e Terentius discussero sul vocativo di _ego_,
                  e infine vennero alle armi. (Umberto Eco, _Il nome della rosa_)
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