half voiced (was: Digest Deux)
|From:||Tristan Alexander McLeay <anstouh@...>|
|Date:||Monday, November 5, 2001, 1:23|
At 05.24 a.m. 4.11.2001 -0500, you wrote:
> <<What's a half voiced sound? Indeed, what is the English phonology
>_actually_ like, phonetically speaking?>>
> I'll venture a short explanation to draw other more learned
> citizens out.
> Cosonants are usually voiced intervocalically and
> word-finally. This is only "usually", however, since they can appear
> voiceless. The main key in telling the difference between voiced and
> voiceless stops in English is aspiration. Intervocalically and in
> non-stressed positions is the only place where you're likely to find some
> variation, and even then, some strings have been pulled, so that /t/ and
> /d/ are always  (alveolar flap), so that there is no distinction. /g/
> is never voiced, apparently--only very rarely, and that has to do with
> the aerodynamic voicing constraint. So the two velar stops in English
> are [k] and [k_h]. When the issue of "half-voicing" comes up, what that
> means is that is that the sound starts out voiced, but ends up being
> voiceless, and this also has to do with the aerodynamic voicing
> constraint. Say in the word "bad". You'd expect something like [b&:d],
> but you end up with something more like [p&dt], where the consonant is
> initially voiced, but (and this happens especially utterance finally)
> when you come to the end, you tend to let the voicing go, and the end of
> the [d] ends up being more like a [t]. You can verify this with sound
> analysis software, such as PRAAT (the one I use).
So does this kind of stuff relate to why children say 'basketti' for
'spaghetti'? (Not so much the metathesis but more the p>b and g>k changes.)
> Other points of interest:
> (a) The voiced, inter-dental fricative in English is most generally
> realized as a voiced, inter-dental stop.
By this you mean /D/ (as in 'the')? Are you sure? I can draw it out about
as easily as I can /z/, and a lot easilier than /d/ (which I actually can't
draw out at all; it becomes /dz:/.
> (d) All the front vowels tend to be lower than their cardinal
This point I think doesn't stand for antipoedian English. In Australia /&/
is higher than an American one, and our good friends from Kiwiland and
South Africa just raise all the short front vowels (except /I/ which is
moved to [@] on the grounds of [I] being as high as a lax vowel will want
to go, I imagine).
> I don't think anything else I could say would apply to all
> varieties of English--and some of what I said already may not. Anyway,
> someone else can jump in now. Unless we don't want to talk about English
> phonetics. :)
So there: some of what you already said doesn't appear to.