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Re: Questions (mostly about phonemics)

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Sunday, January 21, 2007, 1:34
Leon Lin wrote:

> Hello, > > These have been confusing me to the point that I start to try to figure > them > out in public. People sometimes stare at me when I repeat a phoneme/word > over and over again.
Welcome to the club!!
> > 1. Is it possible to distinguish two final unreleased consanants? i.e. Is > there a sound difference between "back there" and "bat there"
In English I think, yes-- mainly because /t/ in that environment can > [?], which is distinct from unreleased [k]. If one heard an unknown lang. (e.g. like Indonesian/Malay, which typically has unreleased final stops), it might be more difficult. Actually, if you look at spectrograms, there is a definite difference-- the final stop has an effect on the preceding vowel.
> > 2. I have heard some people call words with syllabic consanants like > "button" a 'nasal release'. Isn't this just a glottal stop followed by an > /n/?
The thing is, in Engl., the /-n/ is always syllabic. There are 3 ways of looking at such words, all permissible: 1) the /t/ is unreleased and tongue tip doesn't move, but the velum lowers, the glottis opens, voicing begins and the release is thru the nose [kIt|n=] 2) the /t/ is [?], but transitions to open, simultaneously the velum lowers+tongue goes to alveolar position+voicing begins and the syll. /n=/ is heard, approx. [kI?n=] or 3) the t is indeed released (unaspirated), and there is a definite [@] heard before the final /n/. This is a very precise, almost affected pronunciation, and will remind many of 3rd grade teachers....;-))) Again, if you look at these with a spectrogram or other measuring instrument, the difference will be clear. 3. Is stress also accompanied by a raise in pitch (in English)? I think so, in ordinary speech. I can imagine expressions of disgust/semi-curses where it might go down-- Oh Héll! Oh dámn, oh shít! etc. where for me the contour would be 2(or even 3)-->1 Italian (I think) goes down on the stressed syllable. So does American parody of Swedish...(sorry 'bout that, guys). And so, apparently, does Jakarta dialect of Indonesian-- I know we learners found it very difficult to imitate.
> > === If you speak Mandarin ===
Can't comment............. Now to see what others have had to say (while I was writing this, several other replies arrived.)


Eric Christopherson <rakko@...>
Benct Philip Jonsson <conlang@...>YASvPT Swedish prosody (was Re: Questions (mostly about phonemics))