Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Paul Bennett's linguistic history (was Re: Schwa and [V]: Learning the IPA)

From:Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...>
Date:Friday, June 16, 2006, 13:00
-----Original Message-----
>From: Tristan Alexander McLeay <conlang@...> > >On 16/06/06, Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...> wrote: >> >> I have always held (well, not always, but it is my most recent position, >> and relatively long-lived as such things go) that length is not phonemic >> in my lect. > >You'll have to remind me of where you come from/what dialect you speak >(Earthlink's an American ISP, yes?).
Originally from the UK, with six years of North Carolina (USA) on top of that. To say whére in the UK is a matter for a little more discussion. I was born and raised in the city of Milton Keynes, which is one of England's "New Cities" -- a little over 30 years ago, the government decided "We're going to have another city, right here". They took a collection of small towns that were close to or bordering on eachother, and started building things, more or less to plan, until there was indeed a big ol' city right there, de novo. This was then (voluntarily, I hasten to add) filled with immigrants from around the UK and indeed the world. The closest thing to a "native" accent is a rural north Buckinghamshire accent, but that's overwhelmed by a mix of mainly north London, with some Birmingham, Manchester, Yorkshire and various others. I grew up around kids with accents and lexicons from all over. This is further complicated by my going to a secondary school in (properly) rural south Buckinghamshire, which drew its membership mainly from the surrounding counties and outskirts of London -- again, a good mix of rural and urban accents were my main influences, but of a slightly different nature. After school, it was back to MK for a spot of college, and then the Real World. Six years ago, I came to the USA, to Smithfield, North Carolina, and from there to Garner, NC. NC is also a region with plenty of accents. I'm mainly exposed (and these are the definitions created by my own mind) to Rural Piedmont, Down East, Mid Register Urban, and Cary, as well as AAVE, and accents from the large New Yorker and Floridian contingents. I'm sort of adopting some of the NC features. I have started using /4/ subconsciously (originally just when I specifically tried to), and /Aj/ is becoming /a/ (along with some /I/ becoming /I@_^/). I still have to force myself to front /A/ to /&/, and to produce postvocalic /r\/, but I can see it becoming more automatic, and I'm sure there are other more subtle changes going on that I'm not aware of.
> BTW, >what's the /`/ meant to represent? It's usually a diacritic for >retroflexion/rhoticity, but you've got it after the colon in /E:/ >making it look like some sort of separate segment?
Well, that's just it, you see. I sort of think it makes more sense to think of it as a "reduced R" segment than a "additional rhotic" suprasegment. I'm not entirely sure though. It's not a great problem in my life, but it's a puzzle.
>> *** Note that the rhoticity is only realized before vowels, as /r\/, and >> is normally mute. > >Completely mute? Such that for you, a pair like "faired" and "fed" are >homophones? (For me: [fe:d] and [fed].)
/fEd/ and /fed/ for me, as far as I can make out. Note also /fE/ |fare| vs /fEr\IN/ |faring|. /fEjr\=d/ and /fEd/, if I "do an American accent", FWIW.
>BTW: Can you tell me, is the Reply-To header on my emails currently >being set appropriately? I think GMail's agreed to behave well, but I >could be wrong.
I believe so, but I know mine isn't, at least when posting from work via my ISP's webmail interface. I keep meaning to get on to their support drones about the problem, but never manage to. Please reply on-list, despite the Reply-To. Paul


Tristan Alexander McLeay <conlang@...>