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Re: Opinions on English

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 19, 2000, 20:18
At 9:36 pm +0200 18/9/00, lucasso wrote:
>----- Original Message ----- >From: John Cowan <cowan@...>
>> >> What is this?! Polish has even more nasal vowels than French. > >1. french has 4 phonemic, very frequent (not much less than the rest), pure >nasal vowels
Among older speakers and according to the Academie. My daughter-in-law has only three; she pronounces _un_ as [E~], i.e. with the same sound as _vin_. This, in fact, seems to be commonplace among younger generations in France. They have only [E~], [a~] and [O~]. Those who don't like front rounded vowels & nasal vowels should be pleased to see that the low, front rounded nasal vowel has disappeared from the speech of much of modern France ;) (But old timers like me find the habit hard to drop)
>2. according to many modern grammars there are even NO phonemic nasal vowels >in polish. and from the phonetic point of view, there are 2 or 6 of them (it >depends, i think, rather on speaker's manner), they occure only before >fircatives and at the end of the word,
I'm certainly no expert on Polish, but this does not accord with my experience in Poland this summer. In view of what Lucasso writes above & what I heard, I guess there's probably a good deal of regional variation. I was essentially in southern Poland, first in Krakóv and then almost on the southern border at Zakopane in the Tatra mountains. In both places I heard the first nasal clearly pronounced in the word: dzieœkujeœ (thank you) [hope the nasal hooks appear OK] But there was no trace of any nasal sound on the final -e. Those of our party who were essentially anglophone monoglots mangled the thing to sound like "Gin queer" - said in the non-rhotic manner, i.e. /dZIn kwIa/ (Ach - makes me almost ashamed to be English!) Indeed, I consistently noticed that final vowels written with the 'nasal hook' were never nasalized. But other nasal vowels seemed to retain their nasal sound irrespective of the consonant that followed. Our guide came from Krakóv, so spoke the same way. But I admit I didn't really hear enough to be sure of all the vagaries of behavior a non-final nasal might exhibit - but the finals seemed consistently unnasalized. Ray. ========================================= A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language. [J.G. Hamann 1760] =========================================