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Re: Three vowel systems (was: Brr)

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Saturday, August 4, 2007, 17:58
>> IMHO [7] or [V] sound a bit like " a mix of [i\] and [E]", especially if the >> unrounding (lip spreding) is emphasized. > >This is, I guess, a matter of opinion and the phonetics of your native >language; to me [V] is all but indistinguishable from [O], and [7] >sounds very similar to [M] and [5] (sic!). Neither sounds like [i\] or >[E], nor a cross of the two.
... After a few tests, it seems that the sound I'm thinking of - I'll call it [y\] for the time being - is actually neither. More like a vowel between [i\] and [M], in fact ... which is not very far from [7], but that vowel lacks the "[E]-ness". It can't be [@\] since it's possible to put some friction in it. Yet, the difference between my [y\] and [i\] is not the backness of the tongue as much as it is its shape. What I think of as [i\] could be described as [i_G]: back of tongue raises from [i], front retracts a millimeter or two but doesn't change shape noticably. [M] differs in backing the tongue quite a bit (about a centimeter) further to get velar near-striction, and loering the entire blade (with simultaneous jaw aperture) - the sublingual cavity basically disappears. [y\] however, involves ONLY this loering of the blade wrt/ [i\]. No significant backing nor loering of the dorsum. Hold on, have I discovered a fourth dimension of vowelspace here? Yeah, after a few further tests, I can get a distinction of this sort not only with [i\], but also almost any other vowel basically. Only with mid proper or hier vowels does it produce a clearly audible difference, however, and it's also small with [u M]. I think I'll be calling this "anti-rhoticity"...
>> 'Fcors an ATR [i] vs RTR [I] distinction is not exactly the same as a
plain [i I]
>> distinction, but I dout we're going to find anything better. > >Hm. Interesting. I wonder what it actually sounds like.
Why, ±pharyngealized. I suppose there's some small technical difference between RTR and pharyngealization - maybe just a question of degree; but I don't think you're going to hear it (much less be able to produce it reliably.) John Vertical