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USAGE: Of voicing, aspiration, and meticulous analysis ...

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 31, 2006, 12:39
I was reading a phonology text* discussing differences in voice onset time
("VOT") in occlusives. In order from early to late VOT they divide 'em into
five broad classes; voiced, halfvoiced, voiceless, aspirated, and strongly
aspirated**. Apparently, no know language uses more than three classes
contrastively, so thos looking for ANADEW-breaking have a chance here.

This got me thinking about aspiration in my own pronunciaton. The /p t k/ of
Swedish are in many positions aspirated, and accompanied by a blast of air that
is quite noticeable if you hold your hand a in front of your mouth.

The odd thing I noticed is that the same air blast is always present with the
combination [tS], despite [S] by its own not having it, and even in positions
where /t/ would not have it.

Now, [tS] is unusual in Swedish, occuring pretty much only in loans and
interjections, so perhaps it's got a licence to be weird. [ts], being common in
native words, doesn't behave this way. However, I suppose this would give some
justification for postulating a marginal phoneme /tS)/ rahter than analyzing it
as a cluster.

Also, I noticed I seem to pronounce the English loanword _large_*** as
[lA:d`s`h)], with the final air blast. This appears to be a one-of-a-kind

While not directly relevant to conlanging, I thought someone might find these
musings interesting. :)

* ch 2.3 of _Svensk Fonologi_, Claes Garlén.

** This last written as coarticulations with [h] - the CXS ought be [ph)],
[th)], etc.

*** It means "large", but only in the sense of a clothing size. There's also
_small_ [smo:l].



Tristan Alexander McLeay <conlang@...>