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Re: Pronouncing new sounds in new languages

From:SuomenkieliMaa <suomenkieli@...>
Date:Thursday, May 3, 2001, 16:24
Hi, hei, moi, salut,.... Christophe/Daniel!

Uf, long emails here... amidst my other 600!!  I think
I may just ditch all of them and start anew, after my
1st week being on the list!  All, that tells you

Well, Christophe---you're speculation about Vya:a:hn
"y" to be equivalent to French "u" of "lune" is
correct!  I think John C pointed out the proper
notation on that last week.  Appreciate everyone's
help & understanding.  Frankly, I chose that sound
because of its beauty (at least to this ear!).  I
don't know, it probably never will become an IAL --
that is ok!  I just like it, so I'll try taking a shot
at it as an artlang I suppose (for now).  The a:,
likewise.  Vya:a:h has not grown too much lately, so I
oughtn't worry about all the technicalities at this
point.  Nonetheless, your insight on how difficult it
would be for a large portion of the world to master
these sounds is understandable, but so is Daniel's
argument that most natlangs hold even worse obstacles
to be overcome.  *Btw, Daniel---love that
"excusez-moi" satire.  If I'd ever shoot for Vya:a:h
as an IAL, then I may reconsider these sounds, but I
still do not believe them to be that difficult to
master (NB, has anyone realized how tough the Spanish
"rr" is for an English speaker! or how about the Khmer
"bpchh"!, so Christophe's attempts at the English i: I
can relate with)

Anyhow, that's about it for now... got to figure out
what to do with these emails.


--- Daniel44 <Daniel44@...> wrote:
> Christophe jorolluju: > > "Now I hope that Daniel will have understood that > the two sounds transcribed > by <y> and <u> in Uusisuom may sound very different > for him, but for some > people, actually for more than 3/5 of the world's > population... they just > sound the same, and that it's no use claiming the > contrary. You cannot fight > the truth." > > I understand the word 'truth' to mean an objective > truth, something based on > fact rather than supposition. You may not be able to > fight truth, but > supposition in my book is fair game! > > Just because two sounds may sound very similar to a > person's ear does not > automatically make those two sounds 'the same'. They > are two different > sounds, they are two distinguishable sounds. > Granted, it may take time and > effort for learners of Uusisuom to master these two > sounds and the > difference between them, but did not I have to > master certain new sounds > when I learned French and German at school? I > certainly did not say to my > French teacher ' Excusez-moi, this 'r' is not how we > say it in English, > therefore I won't accept that it is a valid sound > and will not attempt to > learn how to say it.' > > It amuses me that a lot of the people who are > opposed to IALs are those same > people who argue that English should be universally > accepted as the > international language. But as Christophe has > already pointed out, after > more than 10 years of study, he still finds certain > basic words in English > difficult to pronounce. Now if English, with its > various flaws, > irregularities, strange sounds (and yet as many as > 1-1.5 billion speakers > worldwide) can be suggested as an IAL, why not the > vastly simpler and > regular Uusisuom? > > My French is not perfect, but I think the 'y' sound > in Uusisuom is very > similar to the 'u' sound in the word 'lune'. I also > realised yesterday that > the 'u' sound in Uusisuom is very similar to the 'u' > in the Italian word > 'pUnto'. In short, the 'u' sound is shorter and more > 'tense' than the 'y'. > > I'm planning to record some Uusisuom and put it up > as sound files on the > net. Hopefully this will be a great help to learners > of the language. > > Finally, even if 'only' 2/5 of the world's > population are > comfortable/confident to learn Uusisuom, that still > means up to 2.4 billion > speakers of Uusisuom (wow!) > > Regards, > Daniel > > > 'Uusisuom - kohta halomaale' > > > > > > ----- Original Message ----- > From: "Christophe Grandsire" > <christophe.grandsire@...> > To: <CONLANG@...> > Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2001 11:03 AM > Subject: Re: sending mail to the list > > > En réponse ESuomenkieliMaa <suomenkieli@...>: > > > > > I guess I can give you a very rough idea of how to > say > > Vya:a:h properly. (1) say English "view" but with > the > > initial "i" sound, (2) say "rat" in a very New > Yorkish > > "a" & draw it out, (3) expell a puff of air for > the > > playful "h". Voila! Vya:a:h! > > > > Any better, Christophe?? > > > > Well, I'm gonna explain this once and for all: I am > a native speaker of > French > living in France! First, it means that most > explanations that have to do > with > how something is pronounced in a certain dialect of > English are irrelevant > with > me, as I don't know what you're talking about. > Second, even if I understood > the > explanation, the problem is not here. Whatever the > explanation might be, > even if > you pronounce the sounds at my ear, there are some > sounds I cannot produce, > whether because I cannot tell them apart from other > sounds I know (it's the > case > with Uusisuom {y} and {u}, and Daniel can repeat as > much as he wants that > those > two sounds are very different, to me they are just > the same, and it's not > because I don't want to hear the difference, but > just because I cannot hear > it. > A hardware problem if you want), or because I can > tell them apart, when in > isolation (it's the case with the difference between > the {a} in "rat" and > the > {a} in "father"), but I cannot command my mouth to > make such different > sounds, > because it has not been trained in doing so. > > To tell you how difficult it is for someone to learn > sounds that don't exist > in > their native tongues, I will explain something. I've > been learning English > for > about 13 years. Yet for the first ten years I didn't > even know the {i} in > "sit" > was pronounced differently from the {ee} in "feel", > though during all this > time > I listened to a lot of English speaking programs, > songs, etc... I just heard > the > same sound in the words "sit" and "feel"! The result > was that for ten years > I > wondered why my French-English dictionaries > obstinately transcribed > differently > in their phonetic transcriptions what sounded like > one single sound to me. I > really became aware of the distinction when I joined > the list and learned > about > phonology and the IPA. Suddenly I realized what I > had been overlooking for > ten > years. Suddenly I began to hear the distinction, and > trained myself to > pronounce > it. Now I can pronounce it easily in isolation or in > one isolated word. > Still, > in everyday speech (and believe me, though I still > live in France I use > English > everyday), I still confuse the two sounds in my > speech, to the extent that I > usually pronounce "bitch" like "beach" and "sit" > like "seat". This problem > sometimes leads to misunderstandings between my > boyfriend and me when we > talk > together. Now comes the freaky part: in French > standards, I am considered as > very good at learning languages, far better than > most French people. In > fact, by > French standards I'm considered bilingual > French-English. > > All this is to tell you that how different two > sounds may seem to you, for > people speaking another native language those two > sounds may sound like only >
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