USAGE: French nasal vowels
|From:||John Cowan <cowan@...>|
|Date:||Friday, October 9, 1998, 13:58|
Christophe Grandsire wrote:
> I must agree with Mathias (I don't even find any difference between
> 'en' and 'in',
There is none, except of course that "chien" is /SjE~/ and
"brin" is /bRE~/; in other words, there is a /j/ glide in "chien"
that is not present in "brin".
> I know it's done in Portuguese, but when I try to speak it, I
> must spend at least a minute in order to give my mouth the correct
Sure. Portuguese has a genuine [i~] which does not exist in
French; French has only [E~], [O~], and [A~] plus marginally [oe~].
> It also reminds me of a strange adventure of mine. I realized just
> some months ago that when I was younger, I made a real difference between
> 'un' and 'in' (I really made a difference between 'brun' (brown) and 'brin'
> (I don't know the word in English))
> but I lost it and now can hear the
> difference, but have difficulties to say it. Is it a consequence of the
> evolution of French?
Almost certainly. The vowel /oe~/ as in "brun" is disappearing
from the language and will probably be gone in 30-40 years as
older speakers die off, making "brin" and "brun" exactly the same.
There are almost no minimal pairs anyhow. (This may not apply to
Canadian French, I don't know.)
John Cowan http://www.ccil.org/~cowan email@example.com
You tollerday donsk? N. You tolkatiff scowegian? Nn.
You spigotty anglease? Nnn. You phonio saxo? Nnnn.
Clear all so! 'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)