Re: Russian soft/hard 'l' minimal pairs (was: glottals)
|From:||Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, February 5, 2004, 3:35|
Philippe Caquant wrote:
> I think it is easier for anglophones to differentiate
> hard-L and soft-l in Russian because that distinction
> exists in English. If I'm not mistaken, Russian hard-L
> is close to the L in the word "ill". In French, there
> is nothing of the sort, AFAIK, so we really wonder why
> do we have to make a distinction if there isn't any
> possibility of confusion.
> Some people find it hard to differentiate the sounds
> "S^" vs "s^" (or whatever may be the phonetic
> representation for them) in German "SCHauen" vs "iCH".
> As, I think, there is nothing like that in English, I
> wonder if English-speakers really mark the distinction
> when they speak German ?
For what it's worth, I find the /S/-/C/ distinction (SCHauen/iCH) *much*
easier to distinguish, both hearing and producing, than the hard and
soft l. Probably because my native language *doesn't* use /C/ (except
in a small number of words as a realization of /hj/), however, the two
L's *are* used in English, but as allophones (i.e., there is *no*
distinction in English), which makes it harder to hear them as different
and to correctly distinguish them in production. Completely foreign
sounds like /q/ are comparatively easy because my native language lacks
that sound, so I don't need to break any bad habits.
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