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Vowel quality // was My new IPA resource

From:Morgan Palaeo Associates <morganpalaeo@...>
Date:Friday, July 19, 2002, 5:57
I wrote:

> I'm certain to add a few more in time (probably epsilon, for example) > but in the foreseeable future I won't have time to add much (updating > the rest of my site is a higher priority, as is Life).
The page is slowly growing - I've just added a bunch of symbols.
> Incidentally I wouldn't mind discussing rhoticity, palatisation and > labialisation, because such qualities are usually neglected when > discussing vowel quality and there's a lot I don't know. I understand
For a start, I'd like to know: 1. The /}:/ vowel as in "who", is that labialised, i.e. [}_w:]? It's undeniable that /}:/ shares a quality with [o_w] that I can only describe as 'melodic', and I'm guessing that this quality is equatable with labialisation. 2. What is the distinguishing vowel quality of the vowel in "all"? There's definitely something there that isn't an axis of the quadrilateral, but I can't put a name to it. 3. Am I right that in the same way that [u] = [w=] so too [}`] = [r\=] ? 4. Describing the quality of a real vowel with the quadrilateral is sometimes like describing the location of the bottom of a volcanic vent with a global positioning satellite! I'm interested in talking about - and trying to visualise - the topography of the true vowel diagram which exists in multiple dimensional space and has axes for palatisation, rhoticity, labialisation and more. In such a diagram, palatisation, I expect, would bulge in the region of closed front vowels, rhoticity around closed central vowels, and labialisation around closed back vowels. Confirm, deny or supplement? The reason for these questions is that I'm in the middle of writing a web page on the subject of my pronunciation and I want to get these details right. I will be doing some linguistics topics at university in the near future (elective topics: my major is Computing). I'll tell you all a little more about this if you're interested. Thanks very much, Adrian.