Re: That pesky H again (was: varia)
|From:||BP Jonsson <bpj@...>|
|Date:||Monday, February 7, 2000, 19:18|
At 02:49 +0000 7.2.2000, Ed Heil wrote:
>To produce [@], one produces voice, keeps the nasal port closed, and holds
>the oral articulators in a particular position (a fairly slack one).
The point is that that particular position is the oral articulators'
position of rest -- essentially the position they would have when
respirating with your mouth slightly open.
>To produced voiced consonants or other vowels, one also produces voice,
>but one holds the oral articulators and nasal port in whatever positions
>are appropriater for those consonants or vowels.
>So I think that voicing is only one characteristic of [@]; to talk about
>voicing as co-articulation of [@] one would have to essentially redefine
>[@] to get rid of all specifications except voicing, in which case you
>have simply turned [@] into a synonym for voice.
You don't have to redefine [@]: sustained voice and [@] **are** the same
thing. It is just that it happens to be convenient to use different terms
in different contexts/functions. "Palatalization", [i] and [j] are
likewise "the same thing" in different functions. I can see why this may
bother you, but IMHO there is no need to bother. You may use a nail to
join two pieces of wood, to hang your coat on or just have it lying around
on your table. Three very different functions -- or rather two different
functions and one lack of function. "Voicedness" as a feature of a
phoneme, /@/ as a phoneme of its own and mere voice is analogous.
IPA's description as "central" is articulatory correct, but for
phonological purposes it is redundant in languages that don't have any
other centrall vowels than /@/; in these [+voiced, +syllabic] characterizes
the sound sufficiently. It may be that some kinds of English aren't among
these languages: either /I/ is articulated as ["I], or there is a phoneme
/"i/ or /"I/ beside /I/. Please note that an adequate and sufficient
**phonological** description of "the phoneme /*/ of language X" isn't
necessary an adequate and sufficient **phonetic** description of the
articulation [*] -- where "*" means "anything" (it occurred to me that I
couldn't very well use "X" in that function here! :-) Indeed a "phoneme
/@/" in a particular language may be totally different from the
articulation [@]. In French the phoneme /@/, when realized at all, is more
often than not a front rounded vowel, and an articulation [%] may represent
either the phoneme /%/ or the phoneme /@/; yet the two phonemes have not
merged, because /@/ has a free allophone "zero" which /%/ has not, and a
native speaker knows which instances of [%] are in free variation with
"zero" and which are not.
B.Philip Jonsson <mailto: bpj@...> <mailto: melroch@...>
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