Arabic Phonetics WAS Re: Primary Interjections - Unversals?
|From:||Roger Christian <rogchr75@...>|
|Date:||Monday, April 8, 2002, 7:27|
Thank you & Jan for the welcome! I am terribly
impressed by the sense of etiquette and general
kindness on this list--browsing through 60,000+ old
messages, I've yet to see a flame.
> > system, I'll take Sindarin. However, the phone I'm
> > proudest of being able to pronounce are the
> > voiceless and voiced pharygeal fricatives.
> You manage to pronounce them?!!!! Well, you have my
> full and complete
> admiration. I've been trying for more than 10 years
> and am still unable to
> pronounce anything further back than the uvula,
> for the glottal stop and
> the aspirated h :((( (and even in front of the uvula
> things are not that good :
Can you pronounce /th/ & /dh/? I've never met a French
native speaker who could (even Quebecois).
> (( ).
> As you've probably seen, Arabic is one of those
> languages which is quite liked
> on the list.
Well, those pharyngeals help me pick up Lebanese
girls, and that's a very good thing. :)
Seriously, I can't reliably get them out in
mid-sentence, but isolated I can get it. I can call
out a good enough "Ya MuHammad!" to get half of the
guys on a Moroccan street to turn around. (The other
half are named 'Ali. :) )
The best I can describe the trick to practicing
(either voiced or voiceless) is to forget about your
mouth altogether--just hold the position for low back
vowel /a/. (It may also help to push your tongue
against your bottom teeth, but keep it down.) Now,
try to use the muscles just above your Adam's apple to
push up, trying to create a sensation like choking.
(If you put your hand on your throat you can feel it.)
Now exhale to get the voiceless fric, or vocalize to
get the voiced.
That's my best shot. Maybe it will help. I actually
find it somewhat easier (as a native Amer. English
speaker) than a decent French uvular R. The /R/ is
vastly harder for me than the stop /q/, for some
reason, although I have no problems with a voiced
Anyway, maybe I will salvage being on topic if I say
that I hope this inspires someone to use a voiced
pharygeal fric in a conlang. :)
I agree with what I have said here by many that the
triliteral root system is fantastic, and I mean that
rather literally. When I first learned about it I was
quite incredulous. I can recommend a good Arabic
dictionary to anyone interested in studying triliteral
roots--the Hans Wehr is the way to go according to my
former prof & his native speaker students. While the
roots themselves are very fascinating, I've always
been disappointed with the incompleteness and
irregularities of forming the various Forms from the
roots--it's pretty hard to tell what a derived form
will mean, or even which ones will exist.
The other thing that drives me nuts about Arabic is
the crazy fact that the 2nd person masculine present
tense and the 3rd person feminine present tense are
exactly the same. Now there's an oddity I bet doesn't
show up in many conlangs.
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