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Re: Virus Translation Exercise

From:Stephen Mulraney <ataltanie@...>
Date:Friday, March 8, 2002, 16:26
On Thu, 7 Mar 2002 08:27:59 +0200
"Y.Penzev" <isaacp@...> wrote:

> Shalom, Stephen!
> From: Stephen Mulraney <ataltanie@...>
> > lenition following the possessive: 'a mhadra' /A wAdrA/ his dog, > > 'a madra' /a mAdrA/ her dog.
> Waah, thnx Heaven, I've found smbody who knows how to represent Irish with > IPA (or SAMPA)!! Can you send me the rules of reading Irish (may be done > off-list, my e-mail is )? I found NORAID site with a very > good Irish primer, but the pronounciation is explained through English > approximate spelling, so it only confuses...
> With friendly attitude, > Yitzik
I'm sending this to the list in case there are people here who (1) might be interested in reading about Irish phonology (2) can correct some of my mistakes One the negative side, i'm no expert, but on the positive I've done most of the work, so experts can nitpick (there are some pretty big nits in there too), I mean clarify. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- OK, here's my sketch of Irish pronunciation. I am *not* a fluent speaker, not even 'ardly, but I do find myself in the curious position of being extremely familiar with this lang since early childhood, without ever having spoken it for any length of time. As a result, the spelling and pronunciation seem nearly as familar as English's, as does the mode of discourse and "sentence shape", even if actual grammar and vocab elude me. There are bound to be mistakes here, and where there are not mistakes, there are confusions of dialects into one big mess (that's what happens when you've had about 10 different teachers, all with very different idiolects). I try to note dialect differences where I can, but I probably miss a lot, and I'm not even going to try mentioning which dialects have which features ;) I'll send this to the list in the hope of getting corrections etc, and since other people might be interested in it anyway, so I'll start at the start... with leathan & caoil... so this is written for a general (conlanging) audience, which explains, Yitzik, why I try to describe russian orthography to you ;)). I use an apostrophe for the long mark (fa'da) Irish has (like slavic langs) two series of consonants (phonemically speaking), called 'leathan' (broad) and 'caoil' (narrow). Caoil consonants are palatised, while leathan ones are velarised. Rather than having two graphemes for each leathan-caoil pair, say one for leathan 't' and one for caoil 't', the difference (like in slavic langs, or at least russian) is indicated by the adjoining vowels. In russian cyrillic there are two sets of vowel letters, then, e.g. one for /A/ indicating that the preceeding consonant is (in Irish terminology) leathan, and one for /A/ indicating that the preceeding consonant is caoil. Irish only uses one set of vowel symbols, with [i] and [e] indicating caoilness and [a], [o], [u] for leathanness. Hence there are a lot of vowel letters in Irish words which are not pronounced as such, but notate the pronunciation of the consonants. So [fear] ('man') is pronounced /f'A4/ ('=palatalisation), where the [a] is a real vowel /A/ and the [e] just indicates that the [t] is caoil. For consistency, there is an orthographical rule "caoil with caoil and leathan with leathan", which insists that a medial consonant (or cons. cluster) needs to be surrounded by vowels of the same type. So while the future tense of the verb [bris] ('break') is [brisfidh], the future of [o'l] ('drink') is [o'lfaidh], pronounced /brISI/ and /o:lI/ [the [f] is not pronounced in this ending]. Note that /S/ is the caoil of /s/, and [l] is leathan. So the [a] in [o'lfaidh] is just there to prevent caoilification (sorry John!) of the [l]. OK, now the sounds: VOWELS ------ This is very rough, I really need someone who has studied Irish vowels to fix this. To get these sounds I'm thinking of how some simple words are pronounced (by me!) and transcribing, and using an old grammar book (Dillon & O' Cro'ini'n's "Teach Youself Irish" (1961)) as a sort of a road map to make sure I'm not missing anything (they don't give ipa equivalents). [e] /e/ ~ /E/ [i] /I/ [a] /A/ [o] /o/ ~ /O/ [u] /u/ (this is miles out, I think - /U/ better? - or something between /u/ and /o/?) Unstressed vowels are sometimes /@/. Long vowels are ... longer ;). For example, [a'] is somewhat like English [ar] in RP pronunciation of [farce]. Diphthongs? Well [ia], [ua] are /IA/ and /UA/, real diphthongs. According to my book, though I never noticed, [ao] is a digraph for /E:/, or when before an [i] or [e] it's /I:/ (or /i:/?). Hence [taobh] = /tE:v/ ('side') and it's genitive [taoibh] = /tI:v'/ Well now that I think of it makes sense. (the book goes for Kerry dialect, BTW - rather alien to me! I think it's [on average!] Connemara that I learned at school). Consonants ~ means that both sounds seem right to me, but they may well be allophones or dialect variations. When I write, in the leathan column, a simple phone like /t/, bear in mind that this could be velarised to distance it from the caoil form. A few items might be peculiarites of my own pronunciation (e.g. the bilabials, suspicious because I have a fondness for bilabials), so I note them, since I don't know if anyone else uses them (they're hardly wrong though - they don't interfere with anything else) Grapheme Leathan Caoil [p] /p/ /p_j/ [ph]=[f] ......................... I tend to pronounce [ph] as [p\]. Seems more natural. (wrong?) Might arises by analogy from my habit with [bh]. [b] /b/ /b_j/ [bh] /v/ ~ /w/ /v_j/ ~ /w/ Dialectical. Possibly the same distribution as for [mh]. Probably as a result of not knowing whether I speak with a /v/ or /w/ here, I tend to pronounce [bh] as [B]. Maybe I heard someone else do it...? [f] /f/ /f_j/ [fh] silent silent [m] /m/ /m_j/ [mh] /v/ ~ /w/ /v_j/ ~ /w/ (I think /v/ in Munster: /w/ elsewhere. Dialectical anyway.) [t] /t/ ~ /t_d/ /t_j/ ~ /c/ (& can be /tS/ or /t_jS/ rather, medially. If you're slurring or speaking quickly) [th]=[h] [d] /d/ ~ /d_d/ /d_j/ ~ /\J/ (& can be /dZ/ or /d_jZ/ rather [unless you have two tongues], when medial. Again, if speaking quickly) [dh] /G/ /j/ I'm sure this varies a lot with dialect, but I can't quite seperate the distribution in my mind from the caoil-leathan distinction. My confusion might extend to [gh] too. Help! [n] /n/ ~ /n_d/ /n_j/ ~ /palatal nasal/ - can't find the xsampa for it! [nn] /nn/ /N/ finally [or medially & finally in some 'lects?], else /nn/ [c] /c/ /c_j/ [ch] /x/ /C/ [g] /g/ /g_j/ [gh] /G/ /G_j/ [h] /h/ /hj/ ~ /c_o/ (_o=lowered: somewhere between the fricative /c/ and the approximant /j/) [l] /l/ /l_j/ ~ /L/ [s] /s/ /S/ [sh]=[h] [ts]=[t] when it occurs initally as a result of the definite article. But in some dialects, I suspect /ts/ is how it's pronounced. [r] /4/ ~ /r/ /4_j/ ~ /r_j/ Initally, may be just /4/ ~ /r/ If caoil [r] is *not* inital, it can approach the sound of /z/ or /Z/. Not sure how to describe it in IPA, but it arises I think fairly naturally if you try a trilled palatized /r/. Eclipsis doesn't introduce any new sounds except that I would pronounce initial [ng] as /N/. As a test, I'll try writing out my pronunciation of a line or two of Flann O'Brien's "An Beal Bocht" (the poor mouth). I won't be consulting my table above, but saying and transcribing. Just for fun I'll choose a section where there's some English, written in phonetic Irish from a monolingual Irish speaker's point of view ;) (BTW, part of the joke is that every boy in the class is called "Jams O'Donnell" ;)) ) Two following vowels aren't a diphthong unless I bracket them. (How do you really indicate diphthongs in IPA/X-SAMPA?) This is not competelty consistant - It's just what came out of my mouth without much premeditation. "*All spik English?*" ................... "*All spik, sor*", arsa an Seanduine. ............... ErsA An SAndIn_j@ Ansin thug an duine uasal mise faoi deara i mo sheasamh ar chu'l an AnSIn_j hug An DIn_j@ uAsOl m_jIS@ fwe: d_jAr@ I mo h_jAsAv @4 xu:l An tSeanduine agus labhair se' go borb liom. t_jAndIn@ Agus lAw@r_j Se: g@ borb l_jum. (r_j ~ 4Z nearly) "*Phwat is yer nam?*" a du'irt se'. Bhi' mise oilte go maith ar an obair .................. @ du:r_jt_j Se: vI: mIS@ ol_jt_j@ g@ mAc_o @4 An obIr_j (or near 4Z) a bhi' idir la'mha an la' sin againn agus d'fhreagair gan aon chu'thail e'. A vI: IdZI4 lAv@ An lA: SIn_j OgwIN Agus d@r_jAgIr_j gAn a@n xu:hAl_j e: "*James O'Donnell, sor.*" ..................... Comments? Corrections? - many needed! (in particular can anyone clean up the mess I've made of the vowels, and the [dh] and [gh] sounds?) stephen