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Re: Re : consonant length

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Friday, May 14, 1999, 18:49
Mathias wrote (and I know some of y'all already responded; this is in
regards to the post on long consonants):

>I can think of Japanese (and Finnish) although the "length" of consonant >is >rather like a glottal stop. So maybe not Japanese (and Finnish) :-). >Maybe try with "emphatic" Chinese "s" and Arabic "t" ?
The "emphatic" Chinese <s> and other letters you refer to are the retroflexes of Mandarin (I can't say for other Chinese languages). In the Pinyin transcription system, <c>, <z> and <s> indicate the sibilant affricates and fricative, respectively, [tsh], [ts] and [s]. An additional retroflex, <r>, is the retroflex [z]. When an <-h> is placed afterwards, they become retroflexes. Also, the vowel <i>, which is usually pronounced [i] (or [I] before nasals <n> and <ng>), is pronounced [1] (Russian bI) after <c>, <z> and <s> -- but after <ch>, <zh> and <sh>, <i> is pronounced as English syllabic [r.]! The syllable <*ri> is actually written <er>, and it is the voiced retroflex followed by the syllabic: [z.r.]. As for Arabic, the emphatics <s.aad>, <d.aad>, <t.aa'>, and <dh.aa'> (or <z.aa'>, and I think Egyptian Arabic developed a secondary emphatic <r.aa'>) are not doubled, nor are they retroflex, but are *velarized* (or pharyngealized). The tongue is retracted in the back somewhat, and also the articulation becomes more alveolar than dental. These have a nice "crunchy" quality to them, rather than the "crispy" sound of the non-emphatic counterparts. They have a nice guttural sound to them, and of course those funky pharyngeal consonants give Arabic its distinctive quality... Not to mention, but the Berber languages also have emphatics. (Kabyle has a lot of consonants by the way.) And I think I remember that Modern Aramaic, probably under Arabic influence, has emphatics as well, but only the <t.> and <s.> in native words. Danny _______________________________________________________________ Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit