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Re: English sounds `v' and `w'

From:Chris Bates <chris.maths_student@...>
Date:Wednesday, September 22, 2004, 15:16
Chris Bates wrote:

>> Hi all, >> I don't know if this is silly but I wanted to confirm the exact >> difference betwwen the sound `v' and `w' in the English language and >> their >> IPA representation in ASCII. I think that both the sounds `v' and >> `w' ar >> not aspirated in English and the only difference is that `v'(isn't it >> the >> same as the hindi `v'?) is labio-dental and `w' is bilabial. Is this >> right? >> Also is there any difference in the articulation of these two sounds >> between US and British English? Also, is there any online resource for >> proper pronounciation of the IPA symbols(ie. audio files)? There are >> some >> audios at the IPA site, but they're too noisy to be of much help. >> >> Shanth >> ``Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur'' >> >> >> >> > V is a labiodental fricative (I believe this is similar to the hindi v > although I'm afraid I don't speak hindi); W is an approximant, and it > is... I think the word is labio-velar. Pronouncing it, I raise the back > of my tongue so that there is only a small gap at the back of my mouth > (the velar bit), and also round my lips (the labio-bit). Having said > that, a bilabial approximant is a good approximation to w. :) As far as > I know, there is no difference between American and British English when > it comes to the pronounciation of v and w. > This might be a bad suggestion, but if you're trying to get w right you > might try pronouncing /u/ (I assume hindi has this sound?) and then > shortening it as much as possible... in some languages (the romance > languages spring to mind), u has become similar to an english w in some > positions in words, and if I try pronouncing /uest/ for west and then > shortening the /u/ as much as possible it gets to the point where it > sounds almost exactly like west is normally pronounced to me. :) >
Correction: I think this has happened in the Romance languages, but some thought has thrown up that: Latin wrote both /u/ and /w/ (is w the right symbol in X-SAMPA/CXS?) as v (w later got changed into v... or seems to have done so from my limited knowledge of the evolution of the Romance languages, thus causing the never ending debate about how one should pronounce v in latin), suggesting that this had already happened before the romans started writing. Also, I was mainly thinking of spanish spelling, in which the vowels u and i are "weak" and tend to turn into /w/ and /j/ respectively in front of other vowels. The problem is, the Spanish reformed their spelling system, so I don't know if this change happened in Medieval Spanish or is simply because of the reforms.