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).
>>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.
**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
>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.
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet. (Juliet, _Romeo and Juliet_)