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Re: USAGE: Thorn vs Eth

From:Tristan McLeay <kesuari@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 9, 2002, 12:22
On Tue, 2002-07-09 at 22:00, Christophe Grandsire wrote:
> En réponse à Tristan McLeay <kesuari@...>: > > > > Or else, the IPA makers would have had a very warped mind to use edh > > to mark > > > the sound of the voiced th ([D] in X-SAMPA) in IPA! > > > > > > Too bad for the "easy to figure it out" ;)))) . > > > > Bah, the voiced and voicelessness of 'th's is all a sham. (Linguists > > have a lot too answer for.) I blame the French for that, they never > > had > > any words with /D/ for us to borrow to make /T/ and /D/ better and > > distinguishing between themselves for us English speakers. > > Hehe, you were the ones who introduced those strange letters! Why did you do it > at the first place anyway ;)))) .
We thought you were going to provide words for us to borrow to strengthen the phonemicity of them? We were trying to be advanced and ahead of our times so that we wouldn't have any trouble learning French when they invaded us and brought their bizarre phonemes along. Pity we came prepared with /T/ but not with even an allophonic [Z], isn't it?
> I'll call > > them halfphonemes, so I can get the cluster 'fph', > > LOL Do you want to become a Maggel writer? ;)))
Maggel is a muddle. (Hmm.... I believe there's dialects of English that pronounce /gl/ as /dl/. So if we did a spelling pronunciation of 'Maggel' in these dialects, there almost synonyms!)
> but also because > > saying /T@/ for /D@/ sounds merely mildly wrong, unlike saying /zup/ > > for > > /su:p/, which sounds like my grandfather ('Ah, that's hexcellent > > zup!', > > he said of Oma's soup often enough. The Dutch wouldn't normally have > > any > > reason to put a /h/ before a vowel, would they?). > > Nope. He's probably just weird :))) (even with /zup/, the word is |soep| /sup/ > in Dutch!!!).
Not even a hypercorrection? (Or is it hypocorrection. I forget. Damn non-rhotic, reduce unstressed vowels to /@/ dialect.)
> Hmm... at any rate, > > thorn is for thorn. <--- That paragraph is mostly humour. The > > seriousness of it is only in that bit about my grandfather (Dutch, > > from > > Zeeland I believe) putting a /h/ before 'excellent'. I've seen some > > argument somewhere about /T/ and /D/ not being properly phonemic. > > > > Well, the simple fact that there isn't any minimal pair between /T/ and /D/, > and that words with /D/ are rare compared with words with /T/, make indeed > their phonemic status a bit unsteady :)) . I think they are considered phonemic > only because despite those facts the great majority of English speakers still > clearly distinguish them (i.e. you won't hear somebody saying [T]ere > for "there"), and can distinguish them in artificial situations where they are > put to contrast. The speaker's recognition is an important argument in favour > of phonemicity, at least as important as the presence of minimal pairs (and > often more important).
Actually, to be honest, when I first heard that they were different, I had to go to some effort to tell the difference---about the same I had to go to to distinguish between dark and light /l/ or the difference between the vowel in 'ore' and 'all'. But there's absolutely no rhyme nor reason to the distribution of /T/ and /D/. Although if you pronounce 'with' without a /T/ or /D/, it's /wIv/, but wiv one, it's generally unvoiced (although in unstressed syllables adjacent voiced sounds, it's /wID/). Bleh. I'm mad. Tristan.


Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>