Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Interdental fricatives and affricates (Lisp)

From:Caleb Hines <cph9fa@...>
Date:Thursday, September 16, 2004, 20:36
>> /s/ -> [T], [T-], where >> [T] -> Interdental fricative (this one is the most common by far) > >Really interdental? Your tongue sticks out a little beyond the bottom of
the upper front teeth?? Yes. _Definitely_ interdental. To varying degrees. Usually it just barely sticks out, but sometimes (usually for emphasis) up to over a quarter of an inch.
>If so, try retracting it so that the tongue tip is in >contact with the inside lower edge of the teeth. That, in my book, is a >proper [T] = /T/ as in thick, thin etc., which in fact is what you describe >next----
So perhaps instead of [T] and [T-], I should have used [T+] and [T]? Actually, the later form (postdental) sounds more /s/-like to me than the interdental form that I use more commonly (which is why I use it in /ts/).
>[s] can be pronounced in a variety of ways...
This is very interesting! So there is no single "right way" to do it?
> one of which was described by >James W. His way, I think, is what we've been calling "apical s"... >That's not the way I do it-- in my case, the tongue tip is >against the upper inside surface of the _lower_ front teeth, with the >friction produced between the blade of the tongue and the alv. ridge...
I think I like the later way better. The "apical s" sounds too similar to /S/ for my taste (or I'm just doing it wrong), and seems a little more difficult to make. This is probably because I'm used to having the tongue closer to the teeth. Also, when I try putting my tongue tip behind the teeth near the alveolar ridge it tends to slip downward. This "laminal s" doesn't seem to do this as much IMO.
> (This is also the sound I make when hissing, e.g. > imitating a snake. How would you imitate a snake??)
>Hmm, the problem may be the gap between your teeth. Is it large?
No one's ever told me so, but I believe it probably is (see below).
>It could be that the gap in your teeth is allowing too much air to escape, >so that it reduces the amount of friction you can produce in that area. >Consequently your [s] has never been as "hissy" as it ought. And if, when >you were young, nobody called attention to it (which includes teasing, >unfortunately), you simply remained unaware of it and had no incentive to >experiment with other ways of producing it.
This sounds very likely to me. I know that when I make an interdental fricative, I can push quite a bit of air out from between my front teeth (hence a hissing sound). And I can only think of one childhood memory where a friend thought I made s's funny. He wanted to make sure, so he asked me to say "uterus", which was a word I didn't want to say at that age. :) I had mostly forgotten about that incident until recently, and I certainly had no incentive to ever experiment with other ways. I think another big problem, though, is not with my tongue or mouth, but with my ears and brain. If I were to attempt to pronounce /T/ correctly, it would sound like an /s/ to me. So if I comment on, for example, the size of a juicy piece of meat, it will sound to me as if I were saying "That's one sick* piece of meat!". Obviously, I wouldn't want to say that! To my ears, /T/ just sounds like it should be an affricate. Wierd, huh? Thanks, ~Caleb