phi-theta [was: Hellenish oddities]
|From:||Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, November 22, 2000, 20:16|
At 12:44 pm -0600 22/11/00, Eric Christopherson wrote:
>On Wed, Nov 22, 2000 at 07:17:25AM -0500, H. S. Teoh wrote:
>> On Tue, Nov 21, 2000 at 10:53:14PM -0600, Eric Christopherson wrote:
>> > I think phi-theta would actually be pronounced [pt_h] since it's so
>> > pronounce both with aspiration, but I could be wrong.
>> Actually, you'd *have* to pronounce the /p/ as [p<h>] because of the
>> [t<h>] sound attached to it.
Yes, of course you do. [pt_h] would be pretty difficult IMO, holding the
aspiration off till the second plosive.
>>It's called the assimilation of aspirates.
Yep - in fact it's a rule that velar and labial plosives are subject to
regressive assimilation before dental plosives (not exactly an uncommon
rule in many languages, in fact).
>Hmm, this still seems quite counterintuitive to me (I know, many things in
>linguistics are). When I try it at least, I have to put a short pause
>between [p_h] and [t_h]. Is it possible without a pause or vowel in between,
Er, yes. In fact, being an anglophone and thus normally aspirating initial
voiceless plosives, [p_ht_h] is the easy one. It's the [pt], as in the
colloquial French pronunciation of "p'tit" that's the awkward one!
>or would the pause just be an accepted part of the pronunciation?
No - not in a modern language with the sequence, e.g. Armenian _a£ot'k'_
[aGot_hk_h] "prayer"; Georgian _p'k'vili_ "flour", _t'it'k'mis_ "almost";
Abaza _ap'q'a_ "in front".
[£ is the best I could do for _l_ with a bar through it, which is the
traditional transcription of the sound now pronounced as a voiced velar
fricative in modern Armenian]
As for ancient Greek, it's always pronounced according to some conventional
system (there are too many uncertainties to do otherwise) and I've, alas,
heard far worse distortions than a mere pause in a 'difficult' sequence.
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
[J.G. Hamann 1760]