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Re: Ehh, help with the IPA notation of a particular consonant, please?

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Monday, December 30, 2002, 4:01
En réponse à Steven Williams <feurieaux@...>:

> > In my perennial linguistic experiment, Mierii [mi.@.'ri:], I have a > distinction between 'strong' and 'weak' consonants--the stops are simple > enough, in that the 'strong' consonants are glottalized and the 'weak' > consonants not. But to throw a monkey wrench into the system, I've a > contrast between a strong and weak [s]. Strong [s] is pronounced with a > lot more force and I think a touch of pharyngealization (at least, it > feels like the pharynx is involved when I pronounce it). Is there a > specific IPA symbol for increased 'oomph' in a consonant? [s_?\_h] for > strong [s], maybe? > > Doesn't our dear Maggel have something like this? >
Indeed. Maggel has a distinction between normal and "tensed" consonants, which can apply to any consonant except (probably) approximants. Although the "tensed" consonants are much rarer than normal consonants (they appear mostly in the plural indefinite of masculine nouns), they are phonemic (no minimal pair known right now :)) ). I have difficulties describing the normal vs. "tensed" feature because it's neither lax vs. tense (the normal consonants are usually tense), nor simple vs. geminate (Maggel also has geminates), nor short vs. long (although "tensed" consonants tend to be pronounced longer than normal ones, it doesn't seem to be the main characteristics of the feature). Rather, it seems "tenseness" in Maggel refers to the state of the whole mouth position when the consonant is pronounced. For a "tensed" consonant, the position is held strongly with added energy to "freeze" the mouth for a very short time in such a position. Normal consonants don't have this added energy. The result of this held position is a slightly longer consonant, maybe slightly pharyngealised, and the added energy tends to add a secondary accent to the following vowel, when there's any. This accent prevents that vowel to reduce, and can sometimes even attract the main stress. As you may guess, when a consonant cluster contains a tensed consonant, the whole cluster becomes tensed. It's a feature that likes to propagate and does it very efficiently ;))) . So tensed consonants in Maggel are quite a strange feature which is difficult to describe in IPA, and as such I just use a special nomenclature to describe it: a [*] after a consonant or consonant cluster indicates tenseness, like in |mesha| [mE'h*&]: house. Christophe. Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.