Re: World premiere
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Friday, March 12, 2004, 6:16|
On Thursday, March 11, 2004, at 09:30 AM, Marshall and Endemann wrote:
> Thanks very much for your message. Very encouraging.
You're welcome! It's great to learn a conlang's actually being used.
> Yes, you can see from
> sloppy description of sound formation that I'm not a linguist by training![snip]
>> But standard French |r| in rêve is _not_ rolled, slightly or otherwise!
>> you mean the /r/ rolled on the tongue tip that you hear from speakers
>> the Midi, or the /r/ rolled with the uvular which is still occasionally
>> heard, tho now considered old-fashioned? I'm not clear.
> The second - but then my chief 'model' is a Parisian in her 80s. Or
> I have an embedded memory of speech heard many years ago when I last was
> France - aged 3!
Maybe you have memories of Edith Piaff's singing :)
> My sole reason for this admittedly vague description is the
> knowledge that for at last some in the choir an 'l' and 'r' distinction
> presents problems. I thought accentuating the difference would make things
> easier for them.
Fair enough - let's assume the rolled uvular /r/ then.
> Similarly with the 'h'. I have Italian (Bergamasque) friends whose English
> 'h' is a forceful but unvoiced glottal fricative - I guess
> for the lack of an aspirate in Italian?
Actually the standard English /h/ is the unvoiced glottal fricative.
> I thought this approach would work
> for singers whose languages also lacked a straight 'h'. I'm actually not
> concerned about the detailed formation of the sounds - it can really be
> anything from an English 'h' though a Spanish 'j'
unvoiced uvular fricative [X].
> to a German 'ch' or an
> Arabic 'kh' (quite a few Arabic speakers among this group apparently).
Right - I guess this is the German ach-laut - unvoiced velar fricative.
> choir will have less than a week to rehearse the piece together and I don'
> want too much of the time taken up with minutiae of pronunciation. Maybe
> future I will go for greater precision - we'll see how it goes this time.
If I've understood this correctly, I'd say you had enough precision
already; it's just I wasn't clear.
> PS By the way I always thought the German 'ch' was described as a glottal
> fricative and the English 'h' as an aspirate.....are my wires crossed?
'fraid so. Actually German has two 'ch' sounds, the ich-laut (which to
English ears often sounds almost like 'sh' [S]) and the ach-laut. I have
no doubt you are referring to the latter. The German sound is a voiceless
velar fricative as is the 'ch' in Scots 'loch'. The Welsh 'ch' is a bit
further back in the throat and is a voiceless uvular fricative as is, I
understand, the Spanish 'j'. The English /h/ is sometimes colloquially
referred to as 'the aspirate', but technically it's a voiceless glottal
I'd suggest that you define Niuspi /h/ a the voiceless uvular fricative
with velar and glottal variants being acceptable variations. There are
natlang precedents for that.
You could also adopt the Welsh treatment of /r/,i.e. the sound is trilled
but it doesn't matter whether it's tip of the tongue that does the
trilling (as in Italian, Highland Scots or more commonly in Welsh) or the
uvular that trills (the less common form in Welsh) as one still
occasionally hears in French - just a thought.
Anyway, all the best for the 20th!
"A mind which thinks at its own expense will always
interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760