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Re: YAC: Widse -- a conlang based on Ygyde

From:Lars Henrik Mathiesen <thorinn@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 5, 2003, 9:09
> Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 19:07:19 +0000 > From: Joe <joe@...> > > On Friday 31 January 2003 5:22 pm, Lars Henrik Mathiesen wrote: > > (A wild thought: perhaps the reason that /D/ is alveolar in Danish is > > that there's no /z/ --- otherwise /D/ might tend to be dental to keep > > the two better apart). > > If there's no /z/, and it's alveolar, wouldn't it be better transcribed as > /z/, not /D/.
Well, the Danish phoneme has no sibilant allophones: it sounds more like a [D] than a [z]. Sibilance is more salient than dentalness, it seems. (Also there's no diacritic for "non-sibilant" in the IPA, so there's no way to base a close transcription on [z]; for me that would be a strong criterion when choosing a symbol for the phoneme). /z/ might make sense in a theoretical description, but in practice it would be very hard to reconcile with the actual sound.
> Also, English has an alveolar/dental/postalveolar distinction(/s/, > /T/ and /S/)
Yes, and I take that to show that neither [+/-dental] or [+/-sibilant] is enough by itself to carry a phonemic distinction for (voiced or unvoiced) fricatives. More to the point, perhaps, English has direct /s/ ~ /z/ and /T/ ~ /D/ distinctions, showing that [+/-voice] is enough in that context. English: [+dental] [+sibilant] [-sibilant] [-dental] [-voice] /T/ /s/ [+voice] /D/ /z/ In Danish, on the other hand, there's only /s/ and /D/, and two features are more than enough to distinguish them: Danish: [-sibilant] [+sibilant] ([-dental] [-dental]) [-voice] - /s/ [+voice] /D/ - In Danish it's actually possible to drop the [+/-sibilant] distinction and be understood perfectly well, though it will be seen as a speech defect. Some performers have used either [z] for /D/ or [T_-] for /s/ for comical effect. Lars Mathiesen (U of Copenhagen CS Dep) <thorinn@...> (Humour NOT marked)