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Re: CHAT: Japanese "sh" (was: Re: CHAT: F.L.O.E.S.)

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 3, 2004, 23:14
On Wed, Mar 03, 2004 at 05:24:44PM -0500, Douglas Koller, Latin & French wrote:
> There, problem solved. My next goal: world peace.
Except that now I'm confused. :) I'm a native English speaker, and I think of [S] as the sound that comes at the end of that language's name for itself (['IN.glIS] in my 'lect). Until reading Doug's post, I had thought that the French sound spelled <ch> was this same sound. (FWIW, I studied French formally in secondary school and was told by my non-native teachers that I had an excellent accent). Before this thread started, I had also thought that the Japanese sound at the beginning of the syllable spelled し in Hiragana (and transliterated <shi> or <si>) was this same sound. Meanwhile, having also studied German, I think of [C] as the sound that occurs in certain positions for the spelling <ch> in that language, a.k.a. ich-Laut. That sound, when I learned it, was explained to me as "sort of halfway between [S] and [x]", which seems a reasonable enough explanation. It is, of course, contrasted in German with both [S] (<sch>) and [x] (ach-Laut <ch>). It would never have occurred to me to emit a [C] for either the French or Japanese sounds named above. So now I suppose am forced to take the detailed phonetic analysis tack of trying to figure out what the heck my tongue is really doing when I say one of these sounds. :) Let's start with my [s]. Well, the blade of my tongue is at the alveolar ridge and the tip is at the teeth, but it's not clear which is the POA. Based on where it closes when I move from [s] to [t], though, I'm going to say it's an apical dental articulation. My [S] appears to be likewise an apical, just a little further back towards the palate (postalveolar). My [C] is decidedly laminal, and of course palatal. So my [S] is an apical postalveolar, while my [C] is a laminal palatal. How does this compare to the native French, German, and Japanese pronunciations? -Mark


Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>