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Re: CHAT: Hello

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Sunday, August 4, 2002, 21:46
Thomas Leigh wrote:
(Brazilian /r, rr/)
>> I definitely heard a lot of friction, which makes it velar [x] or uvular >> [X]. _h_ is glottal, classed as a continuant IIRC, and relatively >> frictionless. > >That's interesting -- I live in an area (Cape Cod, MA) with a lot of >Brazilian immigrants, and also get 2 Brazilian channels on the satellite
>and the only pronunciation I ever hear for initial/double r is [h] - like >the English h. The only time I hear [x] is before a consonant -- e.g. in >words like "normal", "quarta" -- and at the end of a word. And the latter
>somewhat sporadic, as word-final r seems to like to disappear. > >> Of course, I was in Brazil over 30 years ago, so things could well have >> changed-- or may vary by region. > >The latter must certainly be true, but I'd be curious to know about the >former. I wonder how much the pronunciation of a language can evolve in 30 >years.
IIRC, William Labov's groundbreaking study, in the 60s, of Martha's Vineyard (or was it Nantucket??) speech compared data recorded by the dialect survey conducted in the 30s with speech current in the 60s-- there were noticeable changes in pronunciation, especially in the diphthongs. In many cases it was possible to compare children/grandchildren of the same people who'd been recorded in the 30s. Social factors were involved, e.g. orientation of of younger people to the island's culture, vs. desire to leave the island and participate in the "mainland" economy/culture, doubt more exposure to radio etc. So apparently _phonetic_ change can occur within 1 generation, and that could be true in the Brazilian case. A change /r/ > [x] > [h] doesn't disrupt the phonemic system. Perhaps too, 30plus years ago, my taxi drivers in Rio were recently arrived from the provinces......??? (I had much more exposure to Braz.Port. in Sao Paulo where x/h was not used-- my back went out, requiring visits to a clinic every day for 10 days for therapy. Very friendly and chatty staff :-)-- I'm sure they found my attempts to speak Port. amusing, since aside from some basic words I mostly "portuguese-ized" Spanish words, which actually worked about 80% of the time.)


bnathyuw <bnathyuw@...>