Re: OT: YAEPT: English low vowels (was briefly: Re: Y/N variants (< OT: English a...
|From:||T. A. McLeay <conlang@...>|
|Date:||Friday, December 14, 2007, 6:22|
ROGER MILLS wrote:
> Tristan wrote:
>> ROGER MILLS wrote:
>>>> Really? The vowel referred to by the PALM lexical set is also the vowel
>>>> in fAther.
>>> Is that also the vowel of LOT? it would be for me.
>> You ask me essentially the same question I asked. PALM (which includes
>> fAther) is a different lexical set from LOT, so for some people
>> (including me) PALM/fAther is different from LOT.
> Aha. Apparently the vowel is somewhere around [Q] in PALM/FATHER? I have
> heard that in the US (upper East Coast Boston/NYC/Phila area, upper class
> IME); and yes, it's not the vowel of LOT (although U-Bostonian has something
> close to a short [O] in that set; it sounds definitely un-American to us
> provincials, or maybe I just knew a lot of Anglophilic Bostonians). (And
> it's been a while since I reviewed the Wells list.)
> I hope my later post (using Mark Reed's list) clarifies things a bit better.
> In the past I've gone to, and wondered at, the various hear-it-now IPA
> sites; almost all have a frontish [a] that IS NOT what I learned in
> Phonetics 101. That sound doesn't exist in my lect, where /a/ is closer to
>  or [A] depending on the site. On reflection, I guess that [a] is what
> French has, but not what I use when trying to speak French-- which (surely
> among many other things) is perhaps why French people look askance and tend
> to answer back in English......)
You might have learnt the American Phonetic Alphabet? It's a different
beast. But there's also a long answer.
Also, the oft-forgot principles for using the IPA requires that if a
simpler character exists, it should be used. So although C:[a] (which is
my notation for the primarly cardinal vowel 4, symbolised by [a]) is
properly a fully low, fully front vowel, it is used for all number of
things. Considering the most common vowel systems look like this:
where * = unrounded vowel and 0 = rounded vowel, the most common use of
the symbol [a] is for a central vowel.
Another frequently confused point is there is no symbol for a fully low
central vowel. So you have three choices: [a] (a fully low, front
vowel);  (a central vowel lower than [@] and, like [@], with
implications of being unstressed); [A] (a fully low, back vowel).
It's clear given the principle I mentioned above that unless you wish to
contrast your low central vowel with a low front vowel, the best symbol
to use is [a].
A lot of people claim  is the correct vowel for a low central vowel.
They do this by putting a ruler on the vowel chart. But the IPA handbook
is clear that choice of symbols is *not* based on a ruler. And most
languages *don't* use cardinal vowels.