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Data compression, was RE: Spanish education

From:Karapcik, Mike <karapcik@...>
Date:Tuesday, March 12, 2002, 18:57
        There is conlanging stuff at the bottom. Honest!

| -----Original Message-----
| From: Antonio WARD
| Subject: Re: Spanish education
| Letter Z -and also C before "e" and "i"- are pronounced -by
| people from Spain- as you said, like "th" in "thing", but
| pronounced more or less like "s" in "see" by latin
| americans: this is a major distinction.

        Yes, this is one that my classmates insisted I change. I would get
stopped in mid-sentence, "No! No! 'sss'!"

| Spanish accent sounds very funny to our ears (and I have
| to say that same thing happens on the other direction).

        I think this is a human response. In the US, the Northeast and
Southeast ("The South") have very strong and distinctive accents, and each
thinks the other sounds quite odd. Actually, the phrase, "Ya'll talk
fuhnny," said with a heavy drawl, is an "in joke" among the North and South;
each thinks the other's heavy accent sounds odd compared to their own heavy

| When american friends try to speak to me in Spanish, I gently
| decline because venezuelans speak very fast. Mexicans and
| Colombians tend to speak slower, so they are easier to be understood.
| [Also information about dropped "s" in Venezuelan Spanish.]

        Really? I've been told by several people from Cuba and Puerto Rico,
and the teacher from Madrid, that they thought the Mexican accent was very
        Perhaps the accent here has slowed down because a larger percentage
are bilingual in usage rather than using Spanish as a primary language?
        I'm curious, how does this affect clarity? Is there ever a loss of,
um... "data integrity"? I have heard Spanish and also Italian spoken at
blazing speeds. (In the movie "Steam", some of the Italian is spoken so
quickly the subtitles are difficult to read.) I've often wondered if the
listener simply fills in blanks from content.

        And now for the conlanging related material! (Yah!)
        How many conlangers have a "fast speech" accent, formal or informal?
A sort of "data compression", if you will.
        I know in many languages, liquids (l, r) or nasals (n, m, ng) before
a weak vowel and consonant will extend and the vowel will drop. ("-lot-"
will become "-llt-".) Also, weak vowels between consonants can drop, and the
middle consonant in a three consonant cluster can drop.
        In my DnD campaign, I used Esperanto with a slight Greek influence
for one language, but was thinking about doing a conlang for the country the
campaign was based in. One thing I was planning on was a formalized "fast
speech" form, mostly used by military and thieves. Basically, specific rules
of "data compression" for speech.
        (Unfortunately, I had to put my gaming on hold for a while, so I
have done very little with Czethosan.)


Muke Tever <alrivera@...>