R: English notation
|Date:||Monday, July 2, 2001, 19:15|
> >From Rosenfelder's site (www.zompist.org/spell.html):
> ><<Ideally you shouldn't have to worry about my dialect at all: you could
> >simply take (say) ê to represent whatever you pronounce as the vowel in
> >Unfortunately, English dialects are not uniform enough to share a single
> >phonology. There are many words that are not only pronounced differentlyin
> >different dialects-- that is, they have a distinct phonetic realization--
> >but also have their own phonemic representation.
> >Some examples:
> >1. GA is rhotic-- we pronounce the post-vocalic r's-- while otherimportant
> >dialects are not, notably the British standard, RP.
> >2. I distinguish cot and caught, Don and Dawn; these vowels (ô, ò) mergein
> >the US West.
> >3. On the other hand, I merge the vowel sounds in Mary, merry, and marry,
> >which are distinguished in Eastern US dialects and in RP.
> >4. I pronounce w and wh the same.
> >So, what to do with these, for intance?
> Ha! Well, that exactly what we've been going round and round about. And
> then you get (probably) generational problems-- while I agree with
> Rosenfelder's #1,2,3, we part company on #4.
> But I certainly subscribe to his main point: that "English dialects arenot
> uniform enough to share a single phonology."
> I think Tristan mentioned that some Commonwealth countries may adopt US
> spellings. That strikes me as basically unncecessary-- "colour/color",
> "tyre/tire" doesn't really bother anyone, does it? "Gaol" of course is
> another matter.......:-)
> Out of curiosity, is it possible, Luca, to write your dialect in anything
> resembling standard Italian orthography? I'd think not.
Do you mean Lombard (which is an independent language)? Or simply the
variety of Italian I speak?
Well, in the first case (the Lombard language) the traditional orthography
is nevertheless based on Italian + the French triphthong <oeu> representing
'El color del ciel l'è bloeu' sounds /el kulur del tSel lE blY/, where color
/ku'lur/ is spelled with <o> mainly because in Italian it is spelled
<colore>, and because the first people who wrote in Milanese (Bonvesin de la
Riva, xiii century) pronounced it really /o/, as it still is in Italian.
In the second case... well, I can mark down the (quite deep) different
syntax and vocabulary, not the phonetic aspects. As for this latter matter,
I have to say we Lombards have a strong tendence to mix /O/ with /o/, /E/
and /e/. This is due mainly to our fathers, which were Lombard L1 speakers,
and when they picked up Italian, they mangled it: lacking a phoneme /o/ in
Lombard and having a native quasi-allophonic tendency to mix /E/ and /e/
(relying on the presence of a syllabic coda), they came up with some curious
For instance, in Italian we have /'lEddZere/ (to read) and /'mettere/ (to
put), while I constantly pronounce /'leddZer@/ and /'mEtter@/. Maybe we can
add some graphic accents: Lombard léggere vs. Tuscan lèggere, L. mèttere vs.
T. méttere. I obviosly pronounce /io 'mandZo/ (I eat) as /jo 'm6ndZo/ and
Tuscan /xOsai'detto/ (what have you said?) becomes /kozai'dEt:o/, /pOrta/ >
/pOrt6/ and we completely lack syntactic gemination (we still tend to avoid
geminates within words, too; we only lengthen consonants a little); we also
tend, I notice, to weaken final vowels (except /6/): perhaps in 150 yrs
we'll have a situation similar to that which engendered characteristic lack
of final vowels in Lombard and Piedmontese... cool! History works
The difference is not as deep as that we have between America and Brits
English, but still we generally have fun joking about pronounciation of
strangers :-) The greatest indicator of provenience, anyway, is intonation,
which still completely change every 30 kms, not only in regional languages,
but in Italian itself.