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Re: what is the difference?

From:Tristan Mc Leay <conlang@...>
Date:Saturday, November 26, 2005, 5:50
On Fri, 2005-11-25 at 23:22 -0500, Reilly Schlaier wrote:
> whats the difference between > /h/ > and > /h_v/ > ?
The first is a phoneme which probably represents a group of sounds that are generally somewhat like [h]; the second represents a phoneme which probably represents a group of sounds that is generally somewhat like [h_v]. You probably didn't mean to ask that question. (That's the difference between slashes, which mark phonemes and are very much specific to a particular interpretation of a phonology, and square brackets, which attempt to be much more general, although they needn't be anywhere near precise.) [h_v] is a "voiced [h]". [h] is a by default a voiceless glottal fricative. The IPA and CXS/X-Sampa have a character which represents a voiced glottal fricative, being CXS/X-Sampa [h\] or IPA [ɦ] (a hooktop haitch, if you can't see that). Now, in a context in which "h_v" is used, particularly as a phoneme, one is probably trying to draw some distinction between [h_v] and [h\], and without further information, you simply can't tell what that is. One commonly sees things like [z_0] (_0=voiceless diacritic) in contrast to [s] to represent some relatively arbitrary "voiceless form of /z/" sound to contrast with /s/ in some way, which might be an equally arbitrary "tense" vs "lax" distinction, or it could be that the /z/ is only partially unvoiced (with voicing stopping/starting part-way through the sound); this could be something equivalent. In transcriptions of Danish, /b_0 d_0 g_0/ are sometimes(? commonly? always?) used for [p t k] rather than /p t k/, which instead represent aspirated/affricated [p_h t_s k_h]. (In an environment where [h_v] vs [h] is used, it could simply be that the person who wrote it is trying to emphasise that it's a member of the /h/ phoneme, so that in some language where /h/ is unvoiced word initially but voiced between vowels, you might get /hahe/ = [hah_ve], equivalently but perhaps less transparently [hah\e].) The difference between a voiceless phone and a voiced phone is that with voiced phones, the vocal chords are vibrating, whereas they are not with voiceless phones. (The difference between /s/ and /z/.) Thus: [h_v] and equivalently [h\] have vibrating vocal chords throughout the duration of articulation, which [h] lacks. Still, I don't know how to produce a voiced glottal fricative, and I don't know how it's different from a vowel. I do understand they're quite common, though, particularly intervocalically (where I wouldn't know how they're distinguished from hiatus). -- Tristan.


R A Brown <ray@...>