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Re: Telona phonetics

From:Jonathan Knibb <jonathan_knibb@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 30, 2002, 18:44
Josh Roth wrote:
>>> >Yes, /f/ is bilabial, not labiodental. Also, /s/ is much less grooved >than >most, and can even be realised as an very weakly sibilant, ungrooved, lax >apico-alveolar fricative (is there a symbol for this in IPA, never mind >in X-SAMPA??).
Hmm. Well non-sibilant alveolar fricatives (which I love) are mentioned in _Sounds of the World's Languages_ by Ladefoged and Maddieson, and transcribed /T_-/ and /D_-/, that is theta and ummmm.... that other one, whatever it's called (eth?) with a short vertical line underneath. It says in Icelandic, the voiceless one is laminal and the voiced one is usually apical. I don't know if it's legal to put 2 diacritics under one letter, but if so you could do that and specify that its apical with the apical sign /_a/. Or you could just mention that in a note somewhere, along with the sound's slightly sibilant character. <<< < takes Ladefoged and Maddieson from shelf > ... < looks sheepish > Now that I see it written using theta, it occurs to me that perhaps the Telona sound is more sibilant than I thought. Also, I tend to pronounce it as post-alveolar, almost retroflex, rather than on the 'front part of the alveolar ridge' (ibid., p. 144). I think it's the laxity and flatness of the tongue, and the weakness of the frication, that really distinguish it from English /s/. Perhaps I'll redefine it as an approximant, with or without various degrees of frication and / or voice depending on context and speaker. (Hmm, a voiceless alveolar approximant ... I like that!)
>>> >The velar approximant (my favourite!) is accompanied by lip tensing and >partial closure in the spread position, not lip-rounding as such (same >lip >position as in Swedish long 'y'). It has an alternative realisation, as >a >labialised velar lateral. <gulp>
< snip >
>A few nonsense words for illustration: >'citano' /ci:tano/ [ci:tAnO] >'hechi' /Ce:xi/ [Ce:xI] >'tomelyfi' /to:melyfi/ [to:mEl@\f\I] (or perhaps, if I decide to: >[to:mElf\I] ) >and ... 'Telona' /te:lona/ [te:lOnA] > >How's that for a start? Phonology later in the week if you wish!
Looks great so far! I'm certainly having fun trying to pronounce all those vowels in between other vowels. We never went over central vowels or anything in phonetics class, and that's a shame. And a labialized velar approximant ... I never even thought of that. I'm guessing the stress is usually on the first syllable, or can it be other places? <<< Yes, you're right - at least, the stress is on the *long* syllable, which is always the first syllable in citation form. Two caveats: stress isn't a major thing in Telona, and eventually I'll come up with proper realisations for the pitch accents - currently I'm blithely putting orthographic accents on words to indicate pitch accents, but I've no idea what they're supposed to sound like! Secondly, a prefixed word (Telona has one prefix) may start with a short, unstressed syllable, which is followed by the long, stressed syllable that was the first in the citation form. The first word from the examples above, 'citano', would become 'enotano' when prefixed (can you guess why?), pronounced /eno:tano/ , i.e., [eno:tAnO] (yes, starting with a short [e], not [E] - that's the way the prefix is pronounced), and stressed on the second syllable. As far as the 'w' goes, L. and M. devote nearly four whole lines to it :). They refer to a language called Axininca, which they then leave out of their language glossary at the back! I'm having trouble getting it right myself, but it does sound very cool, and not too much like a /r/ with a speech impediment. :)) Phonology soon! Jonathan.