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Re: NATLANG: Ukrainian question

From:Isaac Penzev <isaacp@...>
Date:Sunday, June 11, 2006, 9:56
Mark J. Reed wrote:

| According to Wikipedia, the letter B (ve) is pronounced [v\] or [w].
| But the footnote on the difference says that it "loses its friction"
| when not followed by a vowel.  Bwuh?  What friction?  [v\] is an
| approximant; the only difference between it and [w] is that it's
| labiodental instead of bilabial.
| So I'm guessing the IPA is incorrect and it's normally [B] rather than
| [v\], and softens to [w] non-prevocalically.
| Is that correct?
| If so, I can change the article myself (the joys of Wikipedia), but I
| wanted to confirm with someone who actually knows Ukrainian. :)

This is one of the most controversial issues of Ukrainian phonology. The
exact pronunciation of the letter B varies from dialect to dialect, and even
from idiolect to idiolect, depending of too many extralinguistic factors. In
theory, the standard pronunciation must be [v\] (as in Sanskrit) as basic
allophone and [u_^] non-prevocally. In practice, the b.a. sounds often as
smth close to [B] in non-russophone environment vs. [v] in russophone
regions. I think the author of the article in the Wiki had exactly this
sound in his mind while describing the situation, knowing the standard
pronunciation only theoreticly. [u_^] allophone may also be realized as
[u_^], [w], [v\], [v] or even [f], the two latter cases stigmatized as
Too much politics, too little linguistics, when talking about Ukrainian...

-- Yitzik who dares to pronounce B as [B_o] vs. [u_^] while living in Kiev


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>