Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ    Attic   

Re: Not YAEPT: English diphthongs

From:Peter Collier <petecollier@...>
Date:Monday, August 25, 2008, 23:45
I tend to find that people who haven't studied any linguistics can't get past
the strong assocaition between letters and sounds - after all 10 to 13 years of
schooling has told them that letters and sounds are one and the same thing.

 So it may be that since the first three sounds are the alphabet names of the
letters, i.e. "ay" (<a>) "eye" (<i>) and "oh" (<o>), they are percieved as
single 'letters', where as there is no 'letter' "oy" or "ow" so the second
sound is more apparent?

 For me personally, they sound more like vowel+off-glide than true diphthongs,
especially in <goat> ([O_w] vs [oU)], but I have no idea if that is my
dialect/accent (English Midlands English), perception, or a combination of

 I would certainly never consider <choice>, or any of the others as bisyllabic,
or anything like, but I can sort of hear how some North American English
dialects may do - perhaps because the vowels are different enough from my own
that I have to listen more closely?


"Mark J. Reed" <markjreed@...> wrote:
  In English, three of the so-called "long vowels" (FACE, PRICE, and
GOAT) are usually realized as diphthongs, but most speakers are
unaware of the fact. Meanwhile, there are at least two diphthongs
(CHOICE, MOUTH) that seem to be generally perceived as such.
What do we know about this perceptual distinction? Is it purely a
learned thing, or do even uneducated speakers think that there's a
qualitative difference between those sets of sounds?

I've always heard CHOICE, in particular, as almost bisyllabic.

Sent from Gmail for mobile |

Mark J. Reed