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Re: Yet more on voiced stops

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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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