Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: A few phonetics-related q's

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>
Date:Wednesday, September 15, 2004, 15:48
On Sep 13, 2004, at 5:30 PM, Roger Mills wrote:

> Trebor wrote: > >> In a word like /anta/, would it be more likely that it's pronounced >> [anda] >> or [an_0ta]? > > It might depend on other tendencies in the language. Does > assimilation in > general tend to be progressive-- i.e are there clusters of the sort > /-bk-/ > > [-bg-]-- or regressive, i.e. the cluster /-bk-/ > [-pk-]. > > Nasal clusters however tend not to behave like stop clusters; the > voicing > predominates, so I'd say [anda] is a more likely outcome. > > But there are cases where nasals are lost or changed before voiceless > sounds, so even your [an_0ta] is not impossible. It would more likely > lead > over time to something like [ahta] or [a?ta] or [at:a].
I think that [an_0ta] is highly unlikely. Cross-linguistically, clusters of nasal+voiceless stop seem to be dispreferred. Phonetically this can be understood as resistance to a vocal fold opening gesture so close on the heels of the modal voicing found in nasals. There are several strategies for resolving these clusters: 1. voice the stop 2. make a geminate by denasalizing the nasal (or if the cluster does not share place of articulation, making a two-stop cluster: i.e., /mt/ -> /pt/ 3. make a geminate by nasalizing the stop 4. delete the nasal 5. strengthen the stop by aspirating it; this doesn't resolve the NC cluster, but it makes it emphatically an NC cluster A couple of things don't seem to happen: 1. delete the stop 2. devoice the nasal Of course, these are all *tendencies*, rather than necessary (or prohibited) courses of action. My own project, Miapimoquitch, voices the stop in all NC clusters; I grabbed the rule from Shoshoni, which has the same process.
>> If a language has a rule (a) /s/ is [S] before /i/ and (b) /s/ is [z] >> intervocalically, would it be more likely that a word like /asi/ be >> pronounced [azi] or [aZi] or even [aSi]? > > Let's see if I can get this right.... It depends on the ordering of the > rules (that is, of the events). > > Order A: Rule l. s > S before i > Rule 2. s > z between vowels > OK: Vsi will > VSi, while Vsa, Vsu, etc. will > Vza, Vzu etc. (The > first > rule removes -si from the possible environments of rule 2). [S] and > [s] > will presumably be in complementary distribution and so non-phonemic. > > Order B. Rule 1. s > z between vowels > In this case a rule "s > S before i" is impossible, since all instances > of -VsV have been changed to -VzV; if you still want the fricative > pronunciation to occur, then Rule2 will have to be "z > Z before i" > (This > all looks neater if you use distinctive feature notation)
When you get down to distinctive features, you might find that the relevant palatalization rule is: [+continuant, +coronal, +anterior] -> [-anterior] / __ [+vocalic, +high, -back] which may follow the voicing rule without disqualifying Palatalization, since both [z] and [s] share the features [+continuant, +coronal, +anterior]. To restrict the palatalization rule to [-voice] segments seems unlikely (but of course not impossible). For that matter, the voicing rule may apply to all fricatives and not just [s]. So I think that [VZi] is a plausible outcome for underlying /Vsi/.
>> French nasal vowels can differ from their oral counterparts, cf. [i] ~ >> [e~]. >> Is there an articulatory/acoustic precedence for this? What are some >> oral-nasal correspondances for /i/, /e/, /A/, etc.? >> > I think that's a purely French phenomenon-- nasalized vowels all are > lowered > i > E~, y > (the rounded version of E~), o > O~, some merge (e/a both > > a~), > etc. My French is limited and I can't think of an instance of > nasalized > /u/, are there any??? > > In Portuguese, the nasalized vowels are simply that: i :: i~, u :: u~ > etc. > > The motivation in French might have been that since nasalized vowels > derive > from closed syllables ...VN# or ...VNC..., the lowering could be due to > generalized allophonic lowering of vowels in closed syllables.
No, I think that there is good acoustic phonetic motivation for lowering nasalized vowels; see my earlier post. Dirk -- Dirk Elzinga "I believe that phonology is superior to music. It is more variable and its pecuniary possibilities are far greater." - Erik Satie