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Re: Yet more on voiced stops

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  • pavel_iosad
    Hello, ... Evidence? :-) I do agree, but still... :-) ... As a matter of fact, I was referring to the phoneme as a unit of structural analysis (which And
    Message 1 of 15 , Jun 7, 2002
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      Hello,
      Candon wrote:
      > > Which leads us to the problem of a proper phonological analysis
      > > of Quenya. To wit: are the 'nasalised' voiced stops /mb nd ñg/
      > > single phonemes, or biphonemic sequences?
      >
      > They can only be biphonemic.

      Evidence? :-) I do agree, but still... :-)

      > I believe by phoneme you mean coarticulate and by biphonemic you
      > mean two independently articulated segments.

      As a matter of fact, I was referring to the phoneme as a unit of
      structural analysis (which And rejects, just don't beat me now :-))
      and not as a segment in the speech.

      > A crucial test (which may be beyond us) is to see if the cluster
      > splits into a coda and an onset:
      >
      > e.g. /lambe/ > 1. [lam.be] or 2. [la.mbe].
      >
      > If (1) then the cluster has two independently articualted segments;
      > if (2) then the cluster is coarticulated and thus a "phoneme."

      I believe coarticulation in Quenya at least isn't the primary test,
      as demonstrated by the fact that the Quenya _qu_, which was
      pronounced as a cluster (in the Third Age at least), was still
      permitted word-initially, demonstrating it was not a cluster
      phonologically.

      Besides, the syllabification test allows both interpretations, as
      the whole of the /nd/ group obviously is included in the prceding
      syllable, as per the Maximum Onset Principle. Quenya words do not
      start in /d/, ergo /d/ is an impermissible onset. Ditto with /nd/,

      Pavel
      --
      Pavel Iosad pavel_iosad@...

      'I am a philologist, and thus a misunderstood man'
      --JRR Tolkien, _The Notion Club Papers_
    • Candon McLean
      Hi, ... The evidence is in acoustic phonetics which shows overlapping wave-forms for sounds like [tS], i.e. [t] peaks and before its wave has ended [S] begins.
      Message 2 of 15 , Jun 8, 2002
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        Hi,

        --- pavel_iosad <pavel_iosad@...> wrote:

        >>> Which leads us to the problem of a proper phonological analysis
        >>> of Quenya. To wit: are the 'nasalised' voiced stops /mb nd �g/
        >>> single phonemes, or biphonemic sequences?

        Candon wrote:
        >> They can only be biphonemic.

        Pavel wrote:
        > Evidence? :-) I do agree, but still... :-)

        The evidence is in acoustic phonetics which shows overlapping
        wave-forms for sounds like [tS], i.e. [t] peaks and before its wave
        has ended [S] begins.

        I believe this work was started in the 50's and 60's at Edinburgh,
        which perhaps means Tolkien was aware of it.

        Candon wrote:
        >> I believe by phoneme you mean coarticulated and by biphonemic you
        >> mean two independently articulated segments.

        Pavel wrote:
        > As a matter of fact, I was referring to the phoneme as a unit of
        > structural analysis (which And rejects, just don't beat me now :-))
        > and not as a segment in the speech.

        The acoustic analysis is clear that this isn't so, but for
        convenience and a shorthand lable, perhaps we could call
        coarticulated segments a phoneme (as long as we remember that they
        are not).

        Candon wrote:
        >> A crucial test (which may be beyond us) is to see if the cluster
        >> splits into a coda and an onset:
        >> e.g. /lambe/ > 1. [lam.be] or 2. [la.mbe].
        >> If (1) then the cluster has two independently articualted segments;
        >> if (2) then the cluster is coarticulated and thus a "phoneme."

        Pavel wrote:
        > I believe coarticulation in Quenya at least isn't the primary test,
        > as demonstrated by the fact that the Quenya _qu_, which was
        > pronounced as a cluster (in the Third Age at least), was still
        > permitted word-initially, demonstrating it was not a cluster
        > phonologically.

        I'm not sure I follow this. In English we have word initial /kw/ and
        it is biphonemic. Quenya <qu> seems to be of the same sort.

        Pavel wrote:
        > Besides, the syllabification test allows both interpretations, as
        > the whole of the /nd/ group obviously is included in the prceding
        > syllable, as per the Maximum Onset Principle. Quenya words do not
        > start in /d/, ergo /d/ is an impermissible onset. Ditto with /nd/,

        I'm not sure it's obvious. It's true that Quenya only allows
        palatalized or labialized consonant clusters word initially, but what
        happens word internally isn't clear.

        So, your claim is because /d/ is never an onset /nd/ will not split
        word internally. I don't believe this _has_ to be true. But let's
        say it is. What about the cluster /nt/? /t/ is allowed in onset
        position. So the syllabification of a word like _tintalle_ > 1.
        [tin.tal.le], or 2. [tint.al.le] will help us decide if clusters are
        coarticulated or not.

        Perhaps we can make an argument based on Tolkien's asthetic tastes to
        help us decide. It's clear that Tolkien was interested in creating a
        euphonic language. Which is the more euphonic syllabification of
        Quenya _sinda_? 1. [sin.da] or 2. [sind.a] It seems clear to me
        that (1) is more euphonic, and it is easier to articulate (the same
        can be said of _tintalle_(1)above. Ease of articulation also seems
        to have been important to Tolkien (cf. /n/ + /s/ > [ss] (e.g.
        _Elessar_).

        Notice also that when segments assimilate (for ease of
        articulation) they don't disappear. This would indicate that both
        segments [ss] in _Elessar_ are pronounced (as compared with
        _*elesar_.

        If both segments are indeed pronounced, this in turn seems to
        indicate that the cluster is _not_ coarticulated as the best way to
        make [ss] salient (i.e. perceivable) is to split the cluster [s.s]


        If we don't have Tolkien's ideas on syllabification (and I haven't
        had time to look into it), then his desire for euphony and ease of
        articulation perhaps can shed some light on whether quenya clusters
        are coarticulated, i.e. "phonemic," or not.

        Candon

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      • pavel_iosad
        Hello, I m still sceptical about acoustic evidence, nevertheless. Candon wrote: [...] ... But I was trying to find out exactly whether they are or are not! :-)
        Message 3 of 15 , Jun 8, 2002
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          Hello,

          I'm still sceptical about acoustic evidence, nevertheless.

          Candon wrote:
          [...]
          > The acoustic analysis is clear that this isn't so, but for
          > convenience and a shorthand lable, perhaps we could call
          > coarticulated segments a phoneme (as long as we remember that they
          > are not).

          But I was trying to find out exactly whether they are or are not! :-)


          > > I believe coarticulation in Quenya at least isn't the primary
          > > test, as demonstrated by the fact that the Quenya _qu_, which
          > > was pronounced as a cluster (in the Third Age at least), was
          > > still permitted word-initially, demonstrating it was not a
          > > cluster phonologically.
          >
          > I'm not sure I follow this. In English we have word initial /kw/
          > and it is biphonemic. Quenya <qu> seems to be of the same sort.

          Quenya doesn't allow initial clusters at all. Thus, _qu_, which is
          permissible initially, is _not_ a cluster

          > I'm not sure it's obvious. It's true that Quenya only allows
          > palatalized or labialized consonant clusters word initially, but
          > what happens word internally isn't clear.

          I'd say that the palatalized and labilaized sounds are precisely
          monophonemic.

          > So, your claim is because /d/ is never an onset /nd/ will not split
          > word internally. I don't believe this _has_ to be true. But let's
          > say it is. What about the cluster /nt/? /t/ is allowed in onset
          > position.

          Good point, but it is obvious that the unvoiced stops have much
          fewer phonotactical restrcitions imposed on them than the voiced
          ones.

          On the ohter hand, this example amply demonstrates that /mp nt ng/
          are biphonemic sequences. This would mean that plosives
          (phonemically) present a rather strange system /p/ ~ /b/ ~ /mb/.
          Such a system is highly untypological. The only structurally
          analogous situation I can think is the traditional PIE
          reconstruction (substitute aspiration ofr nasalisation). But that
          may precisely have been the inspiration! It would be "very
          Tolkien" :-)

          [...]
          > If we don't have Tolkien's ideas on syllabification (and I haven't
          > had time to look into it), then his desire for euphony and ease of
          > articulation perhaps can shed some light on whether quenya clusters
          > are coarticulated, i.e. "phonemic," or not.

          Still, I do not see any direct correlation between coarticulation
          and monopohnemic status.

          But perhaps the better-learned ones here will clarify it for me...:-)

          Pavel
          --
          Pavel Iosad pavel_iosad@...

          'I am a philologist, and thus a misunderstood man'
          --JRR Tolkien, _The Notion Club Papers_
        • Ivan A Derzhanski
          ... [...] ... [...] ... Acoustic phonetics is not about phonemes at all. Whatever sequence of wave forms the language treats as a phoneme is by virtue of that
          Message 4 of 15 , Jun 8, 2002
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            Candon McLean wrote:
            > --- pavel_iosad <pavel_iosad@...> wrote:
            > >>> are the 'nasalised' voiced stops /mb nd сg/
            > >>> single phonemes, or biphonemic sequences?
            [...]
            > >> They can only be biphonemic.
            [...]
            > The evidence is in acoustic phonetics which shows overlapping
            > wave-forms for sounds like [tS], i.e. [t] peaks and before
            > its wave has ended [S] begins.

            Acoustic phonetics is not about phonemes at all. Whatever sequence
            of wave forms the language treats as a phoneme is by virtue of that
            fact a phoneme.

            > > I believe coarticulation in Quenya at least isn't the primary test,
            > > as demonstrated by the fact that the Quenya _qu_, which was
            > > pronounced as a cluster [...], was still permitted word-initially,
            > > demonstrating it was not a cluster phonologically.
            >
            > I'm not sure I follow this. In English we have word initial /kw/
            > and it is biphonemic. Quenya <qu> seems to be of the same sort.

            English allows word-initial (and generally syllable-initial)
            clusters. Quenya doesn't. So the evidence of English isn't
            automatically relevant to Quenya.

            > Pavel wrote:
            > > Besides, the syllabification test allows both interpretations, as
            > > the whole of the /nd/ group obviously is included in the prceding
            > > syllable, as per the Maximum Onset Principle. Quenya words do not
            > > start in /d/, ergo /d/ is an impermissible onset. Ditto with /nd/,
            [...]
            > So, your claim is because /d/ is never an onset /nd/ will not split
            > word internally. I don't believe this _has_ to be true.

            As a matter of fact, it does not. Think of Finnish medial /ht/.
            It has to split as /h/+/t/, because a cluster can be neither an
            onset nor a coda, but we have to live with the fact that /h/ can
            be a coda of a non-final syllable (though not a final one).

            --Ivan
          • fr3dr1k_s
            ... Few sounds in speech are *not* coarticulated in that sense. For example, by anticipatory coarticulation, /k/ has lip rounding in the word coo . The
            Message 5 of 15 , Jun 8, 2002
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              Candon McLean wrote:

              >>> They can only be biphonemic.
              >> Evidence? :-) I do agree, but still... :-)
              >The evidence is in acoustic phonetics which shows
              >overlapping wave-forms for sounds like [tS], i.e. [t] peaks and
              >before its wave has ended [S] begins.

              Few sounds in speech are *not* coarticulated in that sense. For
              example, by anticipatory coarticulation, /k/ has lip rounding in the
              word "coo". The labialized feature of the vowel is anticipated in
              the realization of the velar stop, [k^w]. That would be an example
              of coarticulation. But "biphonemic" of course refers to a
              sequence of two phonemes. These phonemes may or may not
              be further analysed into sequences of sounds on the phonetic
              level, but that is irrelevant here. It is important to remember that
              phonemes, while the smallest units of speech *phonologically*
              speaking, are not necessarily "atomic" *phonetically* speaking
              but may be broken down into smaller segments of sound.
              Affricates are sequences of homorganic sounds on the phonetic
              level that make up single units on the phonological level: they
              are phonemes (no scare quotes). In his _Course in Phonetics_
              earlier referred to, Ladefoged points out that "From the point of
              view of a phonologist considering the sound patterns of English,
              the palato-alveolar affricates are plainly single units" (3rd ed.,
              63). I don't have the 4th ed. though.

              Sorry if I missed your point and just reiterated the obvious.

              /Fredrik Ström
            • Candon McLean
              Ivan and Fredrik both wrote that phonetic analysis isn t relevant to phonemes (or something similar to that effect). I agree. My mistake. Indeed sounds like
              Message 6 of 15 , Jun 8, 2002
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                Ivan and Fredrik both wrote that phonetic analysis isn't relevant to
                phonemes (or something similar to that effect).

                I agree. My mistake. Indeed sounds like [tS] are phonemes.

                The point I was trying to make is that these kind of complex phonemes
                with coarticulated sounds can't be split, and so if we wanted to test
                whether Quenya clusters are phonemic or not, we should be able to do
                so by focusing on the coarticulated properties of these sounds (like
                affricates, etc).

                Candon


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              • anthonyappleyard
                Apart from _Aldudenie_, what known instances of Quenya _d_ between vowels are known? If _Aldudenie_ is the only example, perhaps it is a stray mistake by
                Message 7 of 15 , Jun 11, 2002
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                  Apart from _Aldudenie_, what known instances of Quenya _d_ between
                  vowels are known?

                  If _Aldudenie_ is the only example, perhaps it is a stray mistake by
                  Tolkien and if he had lived longer he would have found and corrected
                  it.

                  [It has been suggested many times before that _Aldudenie_, composed
                  by a Vanyarin elf, is a Vanyarin, not Quenya, title. Carl]
                • Eleder
                  ... The best discussion I can remember about the possibility that *_-dénie_ was the Vanyarin cognate of Noldorin _nainie_, lament , is the #5885 message of
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jun 12, 2002
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                    > [It has been suggested many times before that _Aldudenie_, composed
                    > by a Vanyarin elf, is a Vanyarin, not Quenya, title. Carl]

                    The best discussion I can remember about the possibility that *_-dénie_
                    was the Vanyarin cognate of Noldorin _nainie_, "lament", is the #5885
                    message of Elfling, by Ales Bican:

                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/message/5885

                    As he said, it's hard to believe that it could be a typo by Tolkien,
                    since the word _Aldudénie_ appears in different manuscripts and
                    texts carefully revised by Tolkien.

                    By the way, I introduce myself in this list, as member of the
                    Lambenor Spanish-speaking mailing-list, and the Team of
                    Languages of the Spanish Tolkien Society.

                    ------
                    Eleder

                    "La fantasía se inocula en tu intelecto cual vacuna contra la sórdida
                    subsistencia, cuando el aguijón de John Ronald Reuel Tolkien se
                    inserta en los patológicos hemisferios cerebrales de todo lector que
                    padezca el acierto de acceder a su terapéutica saga."
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