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Usage Schwa

From:David Peterson <thatbluecat@...>
Date:Saturday, March 13, 2004, 11:00
Note: This post was supposed to go out before all the responses came in about 
how British has [?] before syllabic l.   It was rejected because I exceeded 
the daily limit (my first time!).   Hopefully this gets through...

Roger wrote:

<<Bear in mind, Joe is a Brit IIRC.>>

Oh!  Well, that would certainly explain that.  :)

<<And personally, I flap my /t/ before syllabic m and r, and before -ing 
(bottom, butter, hitting e.g.) but never before syllabic n or l.  Is that odd or 

No I'd say it's pretty normal--except for the /l/ part.  There are dialects 
now that say ['k_hI4@n] for "kitten".  I definitely have ['k_hI.?n=].  If I 
slow it down, I get a very pronounced glottal stop.  Now, as for "little"...  I 
hear a distinct flap in my speech.  I may have to use PRAAT to check, but it 
certainly feels and sounds like a flap.  (By the way, there's a new version of 
PRAAT out!)

Mark wrote:

<<In careful pronunciation, I have an actual [t] there instead of
the [4].>>

Do you mean [t] or [t_h]?  The only kind of a /t/ sound I can get in there 
that isn't a flap that doesn't sound totally foreign to me is [t_h].  Using a 
[t] sounds to me like that big giant on Looney Tunes who says stuff like, "What 
did I do?  What did I do?  I killed the poor *little* bunny rabbit!  A poor 
*little* defenseless bunny rabbit!"  Very odd.  Same with [t_}] (I'm assuming 
that means unreleased?).

Now, going back to what can be a nucleus, I'm surprised IT Berber hasn't come 
up yet. Now, in a word like...


I pronounce it as ['sk.ti], where you might actually argue that it's 
['sk=.ti].  The [k] *feels* like the nucleus to me.  Of course, maybe that's just me 
mispronouncing IT Berber.  There are several such examples, though, where I 
felt like the nucleus should be stop.  I think one of them was something like...


Where I'd pronounce it ['Zg.nZ] or ['Zg=.nZ].  Any thoughts on this?  Any 
native IT Berber speakers on the list?  ;)