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Re: Pronunciation and writing of _r_ in Quenya

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  • Doug Pearson
    ... [snip] ... Not in American English: both _h_s are voiced and sound identical. It seems strange that Tolkien, (who I assume would differentiate these
    Message 1 of 16 , Jan 5, 2004
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      Ales posted:

      > **Appendix E is a problematic text. When reading it, we must
      > remember that Tolkien was writing it primarily for English
      > readers that could not be supposed to have deep linguistic
      > knowledge. Also, he must have been limited by space. And
      > he was not or could not be always accurate.

      [snip]

      > Another similar case is when Tolkien says that _h_ has the
      > sound of English _h_ in 'house' or 'behold'. The problem is
      > that the _h_ in 'house' is voiceless but voiced in 'behold'.

      Not in "American" English: both _h_s are voiced and sound
      identical. It seems strange that Tolkien, (who I assume
      would differentiate these sounds) would make this mistake.
      Could he have had an American audience in mind?

      -- Tobold (Doug Pearson)

      [The answer to the final question is almost certainly "no". As
      for Tolkien having made a "mistake" -- it is far more likely
      that Tolkien was simply speaking of the pronunciation of
      _h_ in a general manner for a lay audience. I note that even
      the OED indicates the pronunciation of the _h_ in both 'house'
      and 'behold' with the same symbol 'h', which the "Key to the
      Pronunciation" indicates is pronounced as in 'ho!" -- PHW]
    • mach
      ... Why would Feanor create a letter for a sound he didn t use? Sure, he also created letters for aspirated sounds, but I guess this was rather because these
      Message 2 of 16 , Jan 6, 2004
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        Helios cited from app. E:

        > > "[Óre] was often used for a weak (untrilled) _r_, originally occurring
        > > in Quenya and regarded in the system of that language as the weakest
        > > consonant of the _tincotéma_." (LR:1094)

        Edouard Kloczko commented:
        > I read here "originally occurring in Quenya" as meaning "originally
        > occurring in Common Eldarin (?)or/and Primitive Quendian", e.g. *not* in
        > Quenya as the living language of Aman and later in Exile, in which we had
        > only one trilled r.

        Why would Feanor create a letter for a sound he didn't use? Sure, he also
        created letters for aspirated sounds, but I guess this was rather because
        these sounds were observed in the language of the Valar. Or can we suppose
        that the lambengolmor of Feanor's time already knew the sounds of Common
        Eldarin (?)or/and Primitive Quendian? To my understanding, these sounds
        could only be reconstructed when the Eldar knew Sindarin and other Elvish
        dialects from Middle-Earth. And if we suppose that these sounds were known
        at the time of Feanor: Why would a letter for a sound that was only
        distinguished in Common Eldarin (?)or/and Primitive Quendian become part of
        the standard orthography of Quenya?

        As I understand it, there's only an external explanation for the duality of
        r-letters. J. R. R. Tolkien developed these two letters for a phonetic
        representation of his own "r-dropping" dialect of English: rómen for
        approximant _r_ and óre for dropped _r_, that is, for the schwa-sound that
        replaces an original _r_, e.g. in _here, there, under_ (it's difficult to
        decide whether óre is a vowel letter or a consonant letter).

        When he wrote Quenya with tengwar, he used both letters in almost the same
        way he used them in English. Maybe this was only because he was used to do
        so, or maybe because he liked to have diverse letters. Maybe Tolkien's
        attitude to the tengwar was somewhat lax, similar to Feanor's: "[...] in any
        case his primary interest was in _writing_, in its practical and its
        decorative aspects rather than in an accurate phonetic transcription. Not
        that he was with without interest in phonetic analysis" (app. E to _Quendi
        and Eldar_, in: VT 39, p. 8).

        Maybe his use of the two r-letters in Quenya remained unconscient until he
        had to explain how the tengwar work, that is, at last until he wrote the
        appendices to the Lord of the Rings. Helios' above quote might mean that J.
        R. R. Tolkien planned to revise the Quenya phonology by introducing a
        distinction of approximant _r_ vs. trilled _r_, but since his attitude to
        spelling matters was similar to Feanor's, he forgot to do so.

        Is the hypothesis of such a planned but never fulfilled revision plausible,
        I mean, do we have any evidence for similar cases?

        ---------------------------
        j. 'mach' wust
        http://machhezan.tripod.com
        ---------------------------

        [Edouard's reading of "originally occuring in Quenya" (with regard to untrilled
        _r_) as meaning "originally occurring in Common Eldarin (?)or/and Primitive
        Quendian" is, I think, unjustified and highly idiosyncratic. If one applies Occam's
        Razor (the simplest explanation is most likely to be correct) to this question,
        the situation regarding trilled R and weak R in Quenya seems rather obvious.
        Though R came to be pronounced as "a trilled _r_ in all positions" (LR:1088),
        there was originally also a weak R in Quenya (either Old Quenya, or the more
        conservative form of the language spoken in Valinor, as opposed to Exilic
        Quenya). Tolkien's use of the tengwar Rómen versus Óre in his transcription
        of "Namárie" gives us a clear indication of where these two sounds originally
        occurred -- trilled R (rómen) was usual at the beginning of words or
        intervocalically, and weak R (óre) was usual before consonants and at the
        end of words. -- PHW]
      • Helios De Rosario Martinez
        ... [snip] ... Of course. I will translate the text (I wrote it in Spanish) and then post it. But it will be in another post (it is quite long). ... Yes, so it
        Message 3 of 16 , Jan 6, 2004
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          Ales Bican wrote:
          >
          > Helios De Rosario Martinez wrote:
          >
          > >I skip the discussion on the variants _rd_, _ry_, _hr_ and _rr_,

          [snip]

          > is it possible for you to share your insights with
          > us (or me off-list if need be)?
          >

          Of course. I will translate the text (I wrote it in Spanish) and then
          post it. But it will be in another post (it is quite long).

          > Another piece of
          > information relevant for the present discussion is the fact that
          > in Spanish a "weak" _r_ (i.e. the tap) occurs word-finally
          > while a trilled _r_ (i.e. the trill) occurs word-initially and
          > sometimes intervocalically where it sometimes stands in
          > opposition with the tap.

          Yes, so it is. The tap also occurs in contact (after or before) a
          consonant, although in those positions it depends on the individual
          pronunciation: some people (I myself, for instance) slightly trill
          ante- and post-consonantal _r_ depending on the velocity of speech
          (specially when speaking slowly or emphasizing the word). But the rule
          is:

          - Initial _r_ and intervocalic _rr_: trilled.
          - In other positions (final or adjacent to a consonant), and
          intervocalic _r_: tap.

          Note that intervocalic _rr_ is not longer (as Finnish); it only marks
          that it is trilled, opposite to intervocalic _r_.


          > The untrilled variety Tolkien mentioned in
          > App. E is also not (in my opinion) the English approximant
          > but a tap/flap. I find it more likely because a tap occurs in
          > Spanish (and also in Finnish).

          That is the only point were we disagree. The sounds in Finnish and
          Quenya are a good hint, of course. But note that LR:1094 says:

          "Grade 6 was most often used for the _weakest or 'semi-vocalic'_
          consonants of each series. (...) Thus [óre] was often used for a weak
          (untrilled) _r_, _originally_ occurring in Quenya and regarded in the
          system of that language as the weakest consonant of the tincotéma."
          [emphasis mine].

          I learn from those words that the original consonant for _óre_ was a
          "semi-vocalic" dental, as _anna_ was a "semi-vocalic" velar and
          _wilya_ was a "semi-vocalic" labio-velar. And I think that this
          "semi-vocalic" is what in the terminology of the IPA is called
          "approximant".

          This is not opposite to the fact that later Quenya lost this
          approximant sound, and retained only the Finnish-like trilled (and
          tap, maybe).


          > Describing situation in Spanish Helios wrote:
          >
          > > - "'full' trilled" is like "vibrante múltiple" ("trilled" for
          > > IPA).
          > > - "trilled" is like "vibrante" ("trilled" or "tap" for IPA).
          >
          > **Do you mean "untrilled" or "tap" for IPA?
          >

          No, I mean "either 'trilled' or 'tap' for IPA".
          _Vibrante_ is (in Spanish phonetical terminology) an ambiguous term,
          since it can be referred to either _vibrante múltiple_ (trilled) or
          _vibrante simple_ (tap). The common point is that both are opposite to
          the approximant, which is nearly "mute" for Spanish ears.

          What I meant is that maybe Tolkien used the word "trilled" in this
          way, not with its specific meaning for IPA, but opposite to the "weak"
          (which he specified as "untrilled") approximant.

          Helios
        • David Kiltz
          ... Laurence J. Krieg provided us with an accurate transcription of recordings (made in 1952) where J.R.R. Tolkien reads, inter alia, Namárie and A
          Message 4 of 16 , Jan 6, 2004
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            On 05.01.2004, at 23:12, Ales Bican wrote:

            > With this information at hand I can return to Quenya. My
            > opinion is as follows: Tolkien spoke about a trilled _r_ and
            > I think he really meant the (apical) dental/alveolar trill and
            > not the Southern English approximant, because a trill appears
            > in Finnish, Spanish and Italian. All of these languages Tolkien
            > knew and liked. The untrilled variety Tolkien mentioned in
            > App. E is also not (in my opinion) the English approximant
            > but a tap/flap. I find it more likely because a tap occurs in
            > Spanish (and also in Finnish). And there is also a striking
            > resemblance in distribution of the sound. In Spanish a tap
            > occurs word-finally; in Quenya the untrilled _r_ is represented
            > by <óre> and this tengwa is usually used for word-final _r_'s.
            > Furthermore, in Spanish a trill occurs word-initially; in Quenya
            > the trilled _r_ is represented by <rómen> and this tengwa
            > is usually used for word-initial _r_'s.

            Laurence J. Krieg provided us with an accurate transcription of
            recordings (made in 1952) where J.R.R. Tolkien reads, inter alia,
            'Namárie' and 'A Elbereth Gilthoniel' [Jim Allan: An Introduction to
            Elvish p. 152ff.].

            From the transcription it can be seen that trilled and tapped 'r' are
            virtually interchangeable in Tolkien's pronunciation of Elvish. Tapped
            'r' is numerically prevalent whereas trilled 'r' is found throughout
            before dental (a common phenomenon).

            Hence I think it is possible that Quenya is thought to feature (or
            would 'naturally' have) positional variants of its 'r's, oscillating
            between trilled and tapped 'r'.

            However, Tolkien would mean both a tapped and a trilled 'r' when
            using the cover term 'trilled' in the Appendices.

            Although the distinction between tapped (actually a 'one-trill' r) and
            trilled 'r' e.g. in Spanish can be heard clearly, I think most people
            would characterize those 'r's as 'trilled' when speaking without a
            linguistic background or making only a rough statement. And
            indeed a trill is distinguished from a 'tap' or 'flap' just by the
            number of taps/flaps. That is, a trilled 'r' has many flaps.

            Hence, I think it most likely that the 'r' originally represented by
            <óre> would have been an approximant or fricative. As for the point of
            articulation, the listing in the tincotéma might be suggestive as Ales
            has said (i.e. dental/alveolar/post-alveolar). A guttural approximant
            or fricative might also be considered.

            -David Kiltz
          • Ales Bican
            I wrote that my opinion was that by untrilled _r_ Tolkien had meant a tap/flap (occurring in Spanish) and not an approximant (occurring in English). ...
            Message 5 of 16 , Jan 6, 2004
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              I wrote that my opinion was that by 'untrilled' _r_ Tolkien had
              meant a tap/flap (occurring in Spanish) and not an approximant
              (occurring in English).

              Helios De Rosario Martinez wrote:

              >That is the only point were we disagree. The sounds in Finnish and
              >Quenya [read: 'Spanish' -- ab] are a good hint, of course. But note that
              > LR:1094 says:
              >
              >"Grade 6 was most often used for the _weakest or 'semi-vocalic'_
              >consonants of each series. (...) Thus [óre] was often used for a weak
              >(untrilled) _r_, _originally_ occurring in Quenya and regarded in the
              >system of that language as the weakest consonant of the tincotéma."
              >[emphasis mine].

              **This is an interesting note, I have not considered it until now.
              Since <vala> belongs to "semi-vocalic" parmatéma/labials, it
              speaks for my assumption that _v_ is a labial approximant rather
              than voiced counterpart of _f_. At least _phonologically_
              (inferring from its distribution and from the general phonological
              system of Quenya) I am inclided to regard it as a labial
              approximant and not labial (labio-dental) voiced spirant.

              [Perhaps of relevance here is Tolkien's note in _The Shibboleth of
              Fëanor_ that in early Quenya "the labial spirant _f_ was bilabial, and
              so remains in Vanyarin" (VT41:7). CFH]

              >I learn from those words that the original consonant for _óre_ was a
              >"semi-vocalic" dental, as _anna_ was a "semi-vocalic" velar

              **You mean "semi-vocalic" palatal, because no "semi-vocalic"
              velar appears in Quenya.

              > and _wilya_ was a "semi-vocalic" labio-velar. And I think that this
              >"semi-vocalic" is what in the terminology of the IPA is called
              >"approximant".

              **This is certainly a good point. But again we must be cautious
              with Tolkien's terms, for if he writes "semi-vocalic", it does not
              have to mean that all these sounds are of the very same nature.
              Similarly, if he writes "dentals" and lists _t, s, n, r, l_, it
              does not mean that all these sounds are dentals. I would not rely
              much on the fact that <óre> belongs to Grade 6, because it does
              not actually state anything about how it was pronounced. Suppose
              Quenya really had a tap and not an approximant, do you think that
              Tolkien would have hesitated to use <óre> for this sound or do you
              think he would have used another _tengwa_? Even though <óre> does
              not have to be phonetically the best representation of the tap, it is
              nevertheless a very apt choice, since <óre> belongs to the
              _tincotéma_, which is the series that is used to represent all
              "dental" sounds that appear word-finally except for _l_:
              <tinco>, <thúle> (?), <númen> and <silme> (supposing it is a
              modification of <thúle>).

              >This is not opposite to the fact that later Quenya lost this
              >approximant sound, and retained only the Finnish-like trilled (and
              >tap, maybe).

              **Nor is it oppositive to the fact that Quenya could have
              lost the tap.

              >_Vibrante_ is (in Spanish phonetical terminology) an ambiguous term,
              >since it can be referred to either _vibrante múltiple_ (trilled) or
              >_vibrante simple_ (tap). The common point is that both are opposite to
              >the approximant, which is nearly "mute" for Spanish ears.
              >
              >What I meant is that maybe Tolkien used the word "trilled" in this
              >way, not with its specific meaning for IPA, but opposite to the "weak"
              >(which he specified as "untrilled") approximant.

              **I see. But still I think it more likely that he meant the tap by
              "untrilled". If we disregard the loose information Tolkien gives
              about _r_ in Quenya in App. E, we are only left with indirect
              evidence from real languages. So if I were to decide whether the
              "untrilled" _r_ is a tap or an approximant, I would (and will)
              choose the tap, because a tap occurs in Spanish and distribution
              of the Spanish tap and trill is very reminiscent of distribution
              of Quenya <óre> and <rómen> (i.e. "untrilled" and "trilled" _r_).
              However, as I said it is only indirect evidence.


              Ales Bican

              --
              What's in a name? That which we call a rose
              by any other name would smell as sweet. (Juliet, _Romeo and Juliet_)
            • Ales Bican
              To my note that Tolkien was not always accurate in App. E, e.g. when he stated that Quenya _h_ was pronounced as _h_ in English house (pronounced with a
              Message 6 of 16 , Jan 6, 2004
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                To my note that Tolkien was not always accurate in App. E, e.g.
                when he stated that Quenya _h_ was pronounced as _h_ in
                English 'house' (pronounced with a voiceless glottal fricative)
                and 'behold' (pronounced with a voiced glottal fricative) several
                people responded.

                Doug Pearson wrote:

                > Not in "American" English: both _h_s are voiced and sound identical.

                **I am not a native speaker of English, so I have to basically rely
                on what I read in books. Arthur J. Bronstein in _The Pronunciation
                of American English_ (1960) notes that the _h_ sound is frequently
                voiced in intervocalic position, which I think means that the _h_
                sound is usually voiceless. As an example of voiced intervocalic
                _h_ the authors gives, inter alia, 'behold'.

                Eddin Najetovic wrote:

                > As a matter of fact I am quite certain that in the English spoken in
                > Britain the _h_'es are voiceless in every position, including
                > those between vowels.

                **I took the information about the voiced intervocalic _h_
                in British Southern standard English from the two books
                I mentioned last time, i.e. _The Sounds of the World's
                languages_ by Peter Ladefoged and Ian Maddieson, and
                _Fonetické obrazy hlásek_ by Bohuslav Hála. I remember
                I read it also in one of Daniel Jones' books but since I
                have already returned the book to library I do not remember
                whether it was _An Outline of English Phonetics_ or _The
                Pronunciation of English_ (I will check it if necessary).

                Patrick Wynne wrote:

                >I note that even the OED indicates the pronunciation of the _h_
                >in both 'house' and 'behold' with the same symbol 'h', which the
                >"Key to the Pronunciation" indicates is pronounced as in 'ho!"

                **Yes, you are right. I have checked the OED. I have also
                checked my _Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary_ (2000)
                and here also both words are written using the same character.
                In the section of the book 'Pronunciation and phonetic symbols'
                the _h_ character is said to be pronounced as _h_ in 'hat'.
                The pronunciation of 'hat' is given between two slashes.
                This is what I find essential, because slashes are normally
                used for phonological transcriptions. Pronunciation given like
                this is rather confusing, because it is neither phonetic nor
                phonemic, it is rather quasi- or pseudo-phonemic but of
                course it depends on what is meant by 'phoneme' and
                'phonemic' (generative phonologists, for instance, rejected
                the notion of 'phoneme' as conceived by the Prague school).
                Anyway, what I want to say is that if the pronunciation of both
                'house' and 'behold' is given with one and the same symbol
                _h_, it is rather to indicate that English has only one _h_
                "phoneme" which may be pronounced differently according
                to its position.

                To return to Tolkien's statement. It is questionable what
                Tolkien really meant. He need not have been familiar with the
                fact that English had actually two variants of _h_. Or perhaps
                he did not realize that the _h_ in 'behold' can be pronounced
                differently than in 'house'. We might consider it then as an
                error (even though it does not have to seem so always, we must
                keep in mind that Tolkien was not omniscient and perfect). Yet
                it also depends on how _h_ is actually pronounced in Quenya.
                I suppose that _h_ in e.g. _halla_ "tall" is a voiceless
                glottal spirant but what about its negation *_alahalla_
                "not tall, short"? Perhaps the _h_ was voiced here just like
                in English 'head' vs. 'ahead'.

                [You may be quite certain that Tolkien was intimately aware of
                all the allophonic variations in every major and most minor
                dialects of English. CFH]


                Ales Bican

                ps. Another discrepancy in App. E I mentioned last time
                was the problem of Quenya _hy_, which Tolkien described
                as two similar yet different sounds (a voiceless palatal
                approximant and voiceless palatal fricative). Eddin Najetovic
                agreed with me pointing out that IPA does not even have a
                symbol for the voiceless palatal approximant. Well, the IPA
                does not have a lot of symbols it should have, unfortunately,
                it should have been devised better. But this is not what I want to
                say. What I want is to raise a question: so what is the Quenya _hy_,
                a fricative or approximant? And this concerns also _hw_ -- a voiceless
                labiovelar fricative or voiceless labiovelar approximant?

                --
                What's in a name? That which we call a rose
                by any other name would smell as sweet. (Juliet, _Romeo and Juliet_)
              • Arden R. Smith
                ... Really? I see no examples of a voiceless palatal approximant there. In fact, the examples given in Tolkien s description of Quenya _hy_ in Appendix E are
                Message 7 of 16 , Jan 7, 2004
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                  Ales Bican wrote:

                  >ps. Another discrepancy in App. E I mentioned last time
                  >was the problem of Quenya _hy_, which Tolkien described
                  >as two similar yet different sounds (a voiceless palatal
                  >approximant and voiceless palatal fricative).

                  Really? I see no examples of a voiceless palatal approximant there.
                  In fact, the examples given in Tolkien's description of Quenya _hy_
                  in Appendix E are merely a subset of the examples given for [ç]
                  ("Voiceless palatal central fricative") by Geoffrey K. Pullum and
                  William A. Ladusaw in their _Phonetic Symbol Guide_ (Chicago and
                  London: University of Chicago Press, 1986), p. 30:
                  "Illustrated by the initial segment of English _hue_ in some
                  pronunciations, by the final sound of German _ich_, and by the
                  initial segment of Japanese _hito_."

                  > Eddin Najetovic
                  >agreed with me pointing out that IPA does not even have a
                  >symbol for the voiceless palatal approximant. Well, the IPA
                  >does not have a lot of symbols it should have, unfortunately,
                  >it should have been devised better.

                  You speak as though the IPA was graven in stone long ago and is
                  therefore impervious to change. The IPA has been revised many times
                  in the course of its history, and today's IPA differs in many
                  respects from Paul Passy's original 1888 creation. For example, the
                  IPA didn't differentiate between the voiced palatal approximant and
                  the voiced palatal fricative until *1989*! There's certainly nothing
                  preventing the Association Phonétique International from adding a
                  symbol for the voiceless palatal approximant, should it be deemed
                  necessary. But in the 116-year history of the IPA, it has apparently
                  *not* been deemed necessary.

                  If you need to express the voiceless palatal approximant in the IPA,
                  however, it's already easy enough to do: use [j] with a little
                  circle under it (thus voiceless [j]). This is what Ian Maddieson
                  does in _Patterns of Sounds_ (Cambridge: Cambridge U. P., 1984), p.
                  245. Incidentally, the list that is given there of languages
                  containing that sound doesn't contain any likely models for Quenya:
                  Malagasy, Yao, Klamath, Otomi, Mazahua, Hopi, and Aleut.



                  Postscript: Anyone interested in the history of the IPA should check
                  out the following (in addition to the Pullum and Ladusaw book cited
                  above):

                  Robert William Albright, "The International Phonetic Alphabet: Its
                  Backgrounds and Development." _International Journal of American
                  Linguistics_ 24 (January 1958).

                  Michael K. C. MacMahon, "Phonetic Notation", in: Peter T. Daniels and
                  William Bright (eds.), _The World's Writing Systems_. New York and
                  Oxford: Oxford U. P., 1996, pp. 821-46.

                  Additionally, if you have access to a library with a complete run of
                  _Le maître phonétique_, the organ of the Association Phonétique
                  International, you can see the alphabet growing and changing right
                  before your eyes.

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

                  Perilme metto aimaktur perperienta.
                  --Elvish proverb
                  *********************************************************************
                • Ales Bican
                  I mentioned that Tolkien s description in App. E of Quenya _hy_ may be two-fold: it may be either an approximant or fricative ... **As j. mach wust already
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jan 8, 2004
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                    I mentioned that Tolkien's description in App. E of Quenya _hy_
                    may be two-fold: it may be either an approximant or fricative
                    according to his description (in my view). Arden R. Smith wrote:

                    >Really? I see no examples of a voiceless palatal approximant there.

                    **As j. 'mach' wust already mentioned, I meant the sound in English
                    'hue' to be a voiceless palatal approximant.

                    >In fact, the examples given in Tolkien's description of Quenya _hy_
                    >in Appendix E are merely a subset of the examples given for [ç]
                    >("Voiceless palatal central fricative") by Geoffrey K. Pullum and
                    >William A. Ladusaw in their _Phonetic Symbol Guide_ (Chicago and
                    >London: University of Chicago Press, 1986), p. 30:
                    >"Illustrated by the initial segment of English _hue_ in some
                    >pronunciations, by the final sound of German _ich_, and by the
                    >initial segment of Japanese _hito_."

                    **According to Ian Maddieson and Peter Ladefoged (_The
                    Sounds of the World's Languages_ (2002, first published in
                    1996) Tolkien described two different sounds: "The onset
                    in [English _hue_] is normally a voiceless palatal approximant,
                    _j_ [written with an underposed circle], for which the IPA
                    has no unitary symbol." (326).

                    I wrote:

                    >>Eddin Najetovic
                    >>agreed with me pointing out that IPA does not even have a
                    >>symbol for the voiceless palatal approximant. Well, the IPA
                    >>does not have a lot of symbols it should have, unfortunately,
                    >>it should have been devised better.

                    Arden:

                    >You speak as though the IPA was graven in stone long ago and is
                    >therefore impervious to change.

                    **Well, I suppose this may be a reading of what I wrote. Next time
                    I should definitely attempt to use better words and phases. -- Of
                    course, I know that the IPA underwent a number of revisions, so
                    basically I wanted to say is that it still needs some revisions
                    to be better.

                    > The IPA has been revised many times
                    >in the course of its history, and today's IPA differs in many
                    >respects from Paul Passy's original 1888 creation. For example, the
                    >IPA didn't differentiate between the voiced palatal approximant and
                    >the voiced palatal fricative until *1989*!

                    **Revisions of the chart are (I suppose) based on current research,
                    so what was not (could not) be differentiated in the past can be
                    differentiated today. I do not know the state of affairs in Tolkien's
                    time but maybe it was not known then that the sounds of Eng.
                    _hue_ and Ger. _ich_ are different and therefore Tolkien did not
                    make any difference between them.

                    > There's certainly nothing
                    >preventing the Association Phonétique International from adding a
                    >symbol for the voiceless palatal approximant, should it be deemed
                    >necessary. But in the 116-year history of the IPA, it has apparently
                    >*not* been deemed necessary.

                    **The IPA is (as far as I can see) good for a language like English
                    but as far as I know Czech phoneticians do not perceive as
                    fitting for Czech, but of course it is also a matter of getting
                    used to it. At any rate a character for r-hacek (and no, it is _not_
                    [r] + [zh] (i.e. the sound in 'pleasure')!) is missing (why?). Also,
                    the way afficates are written in the IPA does not look very pleasing
                    to a Czech eye. Another thing that could be bettered is difference
                    between _þ, ð_ and _s, z_.The former are given dental fricatives
                    and the latter as alveolar fricatives. A distinction should, however,
                    be rather made between sibilant and non-sibilant fricatives, as we
                    can have both dental and alveolar _þ, ð_ and dental and alveolar
                    _s, z_.

                    >If you need to express the voiceless palatal approximant in the IPA,
                    >however, it's already easy enough to do: use [j] with a little
                    >circle under it (thus voiceless [j]).

                    **I know that but I and Eddin (I think) meant that the IPA did not have
                    a unitary symbol for it.

                    > This is what Ian Maddieson
                    >does in _Patterns of Sounds_ (Cambridge: Cambridge U. P., 1984), p.
                    >245. Incidentally, the list that is given there of languages
                    >containing that sound doesn't contain any likely models for Quenya:
                    >Malagasy, Yao, Klamath, Otomi, Mazahua, Hopi, and Aleut.

                    **I do not have access to the book, only to the book I mentioned
                    above, which is from 1996. Since this is newer book, I (not having
                    means to find out by myself) prefer to rely on this one. So if
                    English is said to possess this sound, it is a rather likely model.
                    Personally, however, I am inclined to the fricative (in German _ich_)
                    -- _hy_ (at least phonologically) does not appear as the voiceless
                    counterpart of _y_ in Quenya.

                    By the way, could you give me (us) a list of some languages that are
                    mentioned in "your" book? "My" book only mentions (with a reference
                    to "your" book) that less than 5% of the world's languages include
                    the voiceless palatal fricative in their inventory.


                    Ales Bican

                    --
                    What's in a name? That which we call a rose
                    by any other name would smell as sweet. (Juliet, _Romeo and Juliet_)
                  • Arden R. Smith
                    ... Then there s disagreement among phoneticians as to what sound the initial segment of _hue_ really is. I ve already mentioned Pullum and Ladusaw s
                    Message 9 of 16 , Jan 10, 2004
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                      Ales Bican wrote:

                      >**According to Ian Maddieson and Peter Ladefoged (_The
                      >Sounds of the World's Languages_ (2002, first published in
                      >1996) Tolkien described two different sounds: "The onset
                      >in [English _hue_] is normally a voiceless palatal approximant,
                      >_j_ [written with an underposed circle], for which the IPA
                      >has no unitary symbol." (326).

                      Then there's disagreement among phoneticians as to what sound the
                      initial segment of _hue_ really is. I've already mentioned Pullum
                      and Ladusaw's statement from 1986. Furthermore, William G. Moulton
                      says the following in his _The Sounds of English and German_ (Chicago
                      and London: University of Chicago Press, 1962), p. 29:

                      "The initial /h-/ of English /'hju/ _hue_, _Hugh_ [...] is pronounced
                      by many Americans as a [ç] with rather wide opening."

                      My point here is this: If *phoneticians* can't agree what sound
                      appears at the beginning of _hue_, then the distinction between these
                      two sounds must be so minuscule that it is of no practical
                      consequence. So you can go ahead and pronounce _hyarmen_ with a
                      voiceless palatal approximant, and I'll go on pronouncing it with a
                      voiceless palatal fricative, and no one will notice the difference.

                      >By the way, could you give me (us) a list of some languages that are
                      >mentioned in "your" book? "My" book only mentions (with a reference
                      >to "your" book) that less than 5% of the world's languages include
                      >the voiceless palatal fricative in their inventory.

                      I'm guessing that even fewer languages have a voiceless palatal approximant.

                      _Patterns of Sounds_ (p. 231) lists the following languages as having
                      the voiceless palatal fricative: Irish, Norwegian, Bengali, Komi,
                      Margi, Mandarin, Kan, Haida, Kwakw'ala, Paez, and possibly Chuvash.
                      Two things must be borne in mind: (1) This book discusses the
                      *phonologies* of the various languages, so only phonemes are treated
                      here, hence the absence of German (in which Maddieson regards [ç] as
                      an allophone of /x/); (2) The lists are by no means exhaustive (for
                      example, the only Germanic languages included are German and
                      Norwegian).

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

                      Perilme metto aimaktur perperienta.
                      --Elvish proverb
                      *********************************************************************
                    • Andreas Johansson
                      ... That, or pronunciation varies from speaker to speaker and/or location to location. It s the kind of minor phonetic variation one expect to see abundantly
                      Message 10 of 16 , Jan 11, 2004
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                        Quoting "Arden R. Smith" <erilaz@...>:

                        > My point here is this: If *phoneticians* can't agree what sound
                        > appears at the beginning of _hue_, then the distinction between these
                        > two sounds must be so minuscule that it is of no practical
                        > consequence.

                        That, or pronunciation varies from speaker to speaker and/or location to
                        location. It's the kind of minor phonetic variation one expect to see
                        abundantly in a language of a few hundred million speakers.

                        Andreas
                      • David Kiltz
                        On 11.01.2004, at 06:20, Arden R. Smith wrote: A.R.Smith says that William G. Moulton says in his _The Sounds of English and German_ (Chicago and London:
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jan 11, 2004
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                          On 11.01.2004, at 06:20, Arden R. Smith wrote:

                          A.R.Smith says that William G. Moulton
                          says in his _The Sounds of English and German_ (Chicago
                          and London: University of Chicago Press, 1962 that Modern Standard
                          German [ç] sounds like the initial sound of _hue_ as pronounced by
                          many Americans. Now there definitely is a difference between the RP
                          _hue_ sound and the German _ich_ sound (_hue_ is slightly more forward)
                          but it's a miniscule difference. Note the fact that English /ç/
                          only occurs before /u/ word initially whereas German /ç/ never does.
                          That may also add to the difference, thus, perhaps, making the
                          difference between the sounds hardly more than a positional one. Still,
                          all Germans I asked (including me) notice and make a clear distinction
                          between English /ç/ and German /ç/ (and it is lab verifiable!).
                          Still, I think it fair to settle on /ç/ for Quenya as Tolkien's
                          examples can be approximations at times.

                          > Maddieson regards [ç] as
                          > an allophone of /x/ (in German).

                          Just for the record: Not only the vocalic environment plays a role here
                          but also morphemes. Cf. _Frauchen_ /frauçen/ vs. _rauchen_ /rauxen/.

                          -David Kiltz
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