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Re: Cloakroom

From:Tristan McLeay <conlang@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 13, 2008, 22:40
On 14/05/08 02:34:32, David McCann wrote:
> > In Britain the term cloakroom (always one word) is still, and mainly, > used of a place where you deposit your coat. The use for a lavatory > (with a basin, unlike Australia) is entirely confined to estate > agents. > Incidentally, every new house now has to be built with a cloakroom in > this sense, to render it suitable for the disabled. Note also the > basin > (for American washing up) — a sink (for British washing up) is found > in > the kitchen. > > Although the British and Americans like to think they understand each > other, there's always something new. Until this discussion, I never > knew > Americans kept their clothes in a dresser. For us, a dresser is a > piece > of traditional kitchen furniture: a cupboard (with drawers for > "cutlery") with shelving above on which crockery is displayed.
That's funny. At our old place, we had a "kitchen dresser" which might've satisfied your definition (in fact, it didn't have draws below, but cupboards with wood doors, so the good looking stuff was in the top section with glass doors and the rest was in the bottom section. But mum also had a dresser in which she kept her clothes (distinguished from say my chest of draws by having a mirror attached). Of course, it's hard to know whether a particular Australian use represents conserving an older form (that's since been lost in the UK) or adopting a newer form (from American English). Normally I'd say it was the latter (as with, say, the distinction between an apartment, which is expensive, and a flat, which is cheap), but household words are where most of the differences are, because they're not as common in the media. Also, backing up the thread slightly, do there exist any Germans who actually have [Oy] for the phoneme sometimes called /Oy/ and sometimes called /oi/ ? As someone who has both as distinct phonemes ([Oy], more commonly written as /@u\/, is the vowel in "no"; the second target is most definitely front, not central like u\ suggests) I've never heard a German person say "eu" in such a way that it sounds like anything but [oi], nor have I downloaded a recording of German sounds --- even one trying to demonstrate that "eu" is /Oy/ --- that makes it sound like anything but [oi] (or [Oi]). Is it contextual or dialectal or is it just an attempt to say "the phoneme isn't exactly identical to the English /oi/ as in 'boy', so we'll spell it differently", without actually using the difference to encode altered pronunciation. -- Tristan.


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Daniel Prohaska <daniel@...>German /OY/ (ex: Cloakroom)