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Phonetics (Re: Was Obsessed with Mouth Noises)

From:David Peterson <thatbluecat@...>
Date:Sunday, April 11, 2004, 18:48
Philippe wrote:

<<But I have trouble to
follow you when you say that phonetics are no more
phonetics. The only thing I can do is referring to my
(French) dictionnary, which says (accents dropped):>>

<<snip the rest>>

The dictionary doesn't define a field of linguistics: The field does.   Also, 
this isn't *my* definition of phonetics, and I'm not saying if it's the 
definition that should be used.   I'm just saying that phonetics has been used in 
this way in the field of phonetics for a comparatively long time (considering 
the field of linguistics is so young).   Since it's the definition the field 
itself uses, there's no reason not to use it, IMO.

Gary wrote:

<<Applied to phonetics, I would not be interested in how
many different ways one can pronounce "potato", but I
would be interested in studying why all those
variations still carry the meaning of "potato".>>

Now wait a minute.   I think I see something in here which has been said 
before on CONLANG.   Are you basically saying that you don't see the relevance of 
the numerous threads that pop up every so often where person X says, "I 
pronounce 'news' like this: [njuz]", and then another person says, "Well, I 
pronounce 'news' like this: [nuz]", and another says, "Well I'm from Southern 
California, and I pronounce 'news' like this: [nMz]"?   You know, YAEPT (yet another 
English pronunciation thread)?   If that's the case, you're not alone.   Lots 
of people have pointed out that these threads have nothing to do with 
conlanging, and that they clog up the list.   And, after all, it doesn't actually 
matter how we pronounce words, since: (a) this is a written forum, and (b) we're 
none of us (I think) doing any phonetic studies on dialectal differences in 
pronunciation.   So if that's what you're saying, I think a good number of people 
will agree.   Now, as for exactly what you said (i.e., seeing how many
different ways you can pronounce potato and still get the meaning "potato"), 
that, in itself, is a question
addressed that would be addressed by a phonetician.

Ray wrote:

<<Can't we have more positive threads? If someone's not interested in
phonology they're not obliged to read those mails that deal with. But
please don't whinge and dogmatically state that this or that is the most
important area of linguistics & one must do things in such and such a way.
  Be positive and start a thread on semantics or whatever - and remember
some of us on this list have quite different aims in creating conlangs.

Most of us do it for fun  :)>>

Well said, man.

"sunly eleSkarez ygralleryf ydZZixelje je ox2mejze."
"No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn."

-Jim Morrison