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USAGE: THEORY/USAGE: RE: Not *that* vowel again! (was: Personal adjectives (was:Fruitful typos...)

From:And Rosta <a.rosta@...>
Date:Sunday, January 23, 2000, 23:24
> Well, maybe, but even linguists of great reknown often make pronouncements > about language that are just flat wrong. Chomsky, for example AFAIK still > insists
I'm not aware of him having said anything about English phonology for the last 30 years.
> that no English dialects have [i] before velar nasal [N], but this > is clearly incorrect -- everyone I know, or have ever met, uses will say > /pleiiN/, not /pleiIN/, for <playing>.
A strange example of Chomsky's fallibility. I take your word for it that the people in your vicinity say [pleiiN], but the norm is [pleI(j)IN]. I say [pleIN] and [pleI@N].
> > I know one person who pronounces the land of his birth as ['ke@n@d@], > > I suspect, though obviously cannot prove, in this case that he has > [k_h&^n@d@] -- where [&^] represents a raised vowel somewhat > closer to [E] found in many Western and Southern dialects (which > applies to Western Canada, as well).
Are there any phoneticians reading? Dirk? My understanding of the phonetics is that [E] represents the sound when there is maximal openness without pharyngeal constriction; i.e. if you start at [i] and lower the jaw, without constricting the pharynx, [E] is the other extreme from [i]. [&] is what you get if you take [E] and add pharyngeal constriction. These alleged facts lead me to conclude (a) that 'typical' American short A is [E] and (b) that French /E~/ is in fact [&~]. I have seen estimable authorities agree with each of these conclusions, but the prevailing consensus seems still to conflict with them. Some authoritative clarification would be welcome. On such authority, I am prepared to believe, say, that [&] is slightly opener than [E], and that the vowel in AmEng &/or French has [E]'s degree of openness but with some pharyngeal constriction.
> > What strikes me with NYC speech is that /&/ seems to be nasalized in all > > positions. > > This is actually a common feature of many North American dialects.
I believe nasalization is characteristic of [&] either in all accents of English or in articulation in general. "Believe" = 'based on knowledge held with less than 100% confidence'.