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:[snip]
>> '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
>> (the term is also occasionally found in English). As for
> Old 19th century? Not to my knowledge. I still use it, and I'm
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
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
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.
"A mind which thinks at its own expense will always
interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760