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Re: The [??] attribute

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Saturday, September 7, 2002, 15:16
Herman Miller wrote:

>On Thu, 5 Sep 2002 19:57:42 -0700, Arthaey Angosii <arthaey@...> >wrote: > >>And when they talk about "syllabic consonants," what does this mean in >>practice? A definition I found: "A syllabic consonant is a phonetic
>>that normally patterns as a consonant, but may fill a vowel slot in a >>syllable." One of the examples given is the word "bottom" -- but why don't
>>describe this as /bAtVm/ with a very short V? (I'm from California, in
>>we're known for having a strange pronunciation of this word. :) > >I don't think I've ever heard "bottom" with a syllabic consonant. I think a >better example, at least in American English, would be "kitten". I don't >normally pronounce any vowel in the second syllable of "kitten" between the >/t/ (which in this word I usually pronounce as a glottal stop) and the /n/, >but instead the /n/ sound acts as the vowel in the syllable. But I'm from >Michigan, and I don't know for certain if "kitten" is pronounced with a >syllabic /n/ in California. >
One would think that if they were truly syllabic, there could be alternations with non-syllabic, [C=] ~ [C]. In most of the nasal-final words, it sound very unnatural to think of ['bAtm=] ~ ['bAtmiN] 'bottom, bottoming', or ['kItn=] ~ ['kItnIS] 'kitten, kittenish'. (Substitute [?] for [t] if you wish.) Note too that in "bottom" the _t_ is flapped; not so in "kitten". rhythm ~ rhythmic and the other -thm words yes, but they're weird furrin words. We do get alternations with final /r, l/: ['fajr=] ~ ['fajrIn] 'fire, firing', ['b&tr=] ~['b&trIN] 'batter, battering' (this last maybe more typical of British than US, but permissible here in fast speech) or ['bAtl=] ~ ['bAtlIN] 'bottle, bottling', ['sEtl=] ~ [sEtlr=] 'settle, settler'. Personally I've always preferred to indicate the schwa in these cases, if only becuase in a phonological derivation it's simpler to account for vowel-deletion than to account for a change in syllabicity.


Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>