Re: Metrical meanderings
|From:||Dan Sulani <dansulani@...>|
|Date:||Friday, July 7, 2006, 6:44|
On 5 July, Mark J. Reed wrote:
> I'm guessing this shuffling around of syllable boundaries in the
> vicinity of consonant clusters happens quite regularly and just
> usually goes unnoticed. I was wondering if any languages had phonemic
> distinctions based on such boundaries, where, say, "ka-ching" and
> "catching" and "cat shing" would all mean different things, and the
> distinction would lie not in the emphasis or vowel quality but in the
> location of the syllable boundary...
It's the basis for a lot of humor. Most of the jokes I remember (in
English) involve a misunderstanding between a sound-stream which is not
divided versus the same stream of sound which is divided. For example, in
the July edition of Reader's Digest, there's this one: " What's the
difference between a duck with one wing and a duck with two wings? Why,
that's a matter of a pinion." The play, of course is on the sound stream:
[@pIny@n] which, if not divided up is understood as "opinion" and if divided
up, "a pinion" (Of course this only works in dialects where the first vowel
in "opinion" is not [o]. )
This kind of humor also exists in Hebrew. I remember one sketch on TV
where they showed a newsroom and there were problems with the broadcasting.
When this happens for real, they put out an apology along the lines of
"Please excuse the (broadcasting) failure". The sketch showed a woman
dressed up as a bride running amok in the studio smashing up everything. The
announcer calmly advised the viewers to please excuse [takala]. That stream
can be understood as either (undivided) |takala| = "error, failure" or
(divided) | (e)t-(h)a-kala | = "the bride".
likehsna rtem zuv tikuhnuh auag inuvuz vaka'a.
A word is an awesome thing.