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USAGE: Stops (was: Rhotics)

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Sunday, February 8, 2004, 18:51
On Saturday, February 7, 2004, at 06:19 PM, Joe wrote:

> Ray Brown wrote: > >> On Friday, February 6, 2004, at 10:21 AM, Andreas Johansson wrote:
>> 'Cerebral stop'? Explanation of origin of that term? >> >> >> 'stop' of course was the old 19th century term for what we now commonly >> call in te anglophone world a 'plosive' and the French call an >> 'occlusive' >> (the term is also occasionally found in English). As for >> 'cerebral'...... > > > > Old 19th century? Not to my knowledge. I still use it, and I'm > fifteen.
So what? I was talking about the old usage of 'stop' to mean nothing more and nothing less than what is normally term 'plosive' in now-a-days. We have moved on quite a bit since the 19th century. A 'stop' is now understood to mean _any_ sound produced by a closure of the vocal tract and both nasal and oral sounds can be classified as stops. Futhermore account is now taken of the direction of the airflow, whether ingressive or egressive. Ingressive stops are also known as 'suction stops' and egressive stops as 'pressure stops'. As for egressive stops (and other egressive sounds), while the vast majority of such sounds are made with egressive air from the lungs ('pulmonic' air), some consonants are produced using an egressive airflow originating from the larynx ('glottalic' air) and produce 'ejective' or 'glottalic' sounds. We can also produce sound by using an airstream generated by a closure produced by raising the back of the tongue against the velum ('velaric' air). The articulation is made further forward in the mouth by closure of lips or front part of the tongue as the air is released; this produces the velaric stops or 'clicks' of the Nguni and Khosian languages. Just to add too the fun, if I've understood it aright, in Chomsky and Halle's 'distinctive feature' theory of phonology (unknown to the 19th cent. linguists, but known now, whether one ascribes to it or not) 'pressure' stops (and other pressure consonants) refer specifically to those glottalic and velaric egressives. Implosive or 'suction' stops are less common, but they occur in languages such as Sindi and Igbo and are, indeed, not at all uncommon in the languages of sub-saharan Africa.
> Plus, the use of Latin words where we have perfectly good > English words for something annoys me slightly.
So what's the problem? For your information 'plosive' is _English_. Not even the word *plosivus exists in Latin! Besides, the word 'stop' and 'plosive' are not synonyms.
> Cerebral is a > translation of the Sanskrit term 'mu:rdhyana', meaning 'made in the > head', or something like that.
Thinks: "Aren't most sounds made largely by organs in the head?" I thought Philip Jonsson had already dealt with this. According to him 'cerebral' is a _mis-translation_ of the Sanskrit word and it in fact means 'cacuminal'. In the International Phonetic Alphabet chart what the old 19th cent. linguists called 'cerebral stops' are termed 'retroflex plosives', and clearly not everyone on this list understood the older terminology. Ray =============================================== (home) (work) =============================================== "A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760