THEORY: L & R (was Re: THEORY: language and the brain [Interesting article])
|From:||Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, July 1, 2003, 19:41|
John Leland wrote:
> On Japanese having "r but no l" while other Asian languages have only "l"
> my observation (and my impression is that more qualified experts agree) is
> that this distinction is largely a matter of the way the languages are
> romanized. Listening to Japanese pronounciation the sound romanized
> as r is more like l at least in many contexts.
I've noticed that mostly just before /a/. I've also sometimes heard "r"
sounding almost like [d,] before /i/ and /u/.
Common Kassi, the ancestor of Uatakassi, had a distinction between /l/
and /r/ (a discovery I made only a month or so ago), but the Classical
language had collapsed those into one phoneme with three allophones,
[r\] after the dental consonants t, d, n, s, z, [K\;] (voiced geminated
lateral fricative) for /l:/, and [l] in all other contexts.
In turn, later descendants have split the phoneme into three new
phonemes, /K\/, /l/, and /r\/. All of them have limited distributions.
For example, in Old Ivetsian, /K/ (voiceless lateral fricative - /K\/
had become devoiced) could only be used between vowels. It later merged
with /S/. /r\/ can only be used between vowels (in which case it's
derived from Classical /zl/) or after dental consonants. /l/ can be
used anywhere except after /s/, /z/, /n/. Thus, /l/ and /r\/ are
distinguished only intervocalically or after /t/ and /d/ (/tl/ and /dl/
are derived from Classical /kl/ and /gl/, clusters which were later
recreated by subsequent sound changes).
> Several Asian languages
> (including Korean and Japanese)seem not to treat l and r as separate
> sounds--for which reason my Korean and Japanese students have great
> difficulty distinguishing the spelling use
> of r and l in English.
Reminds me of a bad joke I heard once:
Q: What do Japanese people do when they have an erection?
A: They vote!
> Hangul in Korean has one character for the r/l
> sound which can create odd results. In transcribing English loanwords they
> also use the same character for b and v
Korean has no /v/? Odd. I have a Korean song on my computer, and they
clearly use a form [vevi] which I *think* is an adaption of the English
"Baby" (since it's followed by an English line every time, "Funny how
all dreams come true"). Perhaps that's a hypercorrection?
"There's no such thing as 'cool'. Everyone's just a big dork or nerd,
you just have to find people who are dorky the same way you are." -
AIM Screen-Name: NikTaylor42