Re: English sounds `v' and `w'
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, September 23, 2004, 6:26|
On Wednesday, September 22, 2004, at 06:34 , Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
> Shanthanu Bhardwaj 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
>> 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
No - see Philip's reply below.
> Hindi व (and Swedish |v| BTW) is a labiodental approximant,
> IPA ʋ, CXS [v\] and thus falls inbetween English /v/ and /w/:
It does indeed. I had an Iranian colleague who used his |v\] when
pronouncing English /v/ or /w/. The result is that people tended to 'hear'
[w] for /v/ and [v] for /w/ - i.e. they registered it was not the correct
English sound but, not being familiar with (or even knowing about) a
labio-dental approximant, the brain, so to speak, substituted the nearest
English 'incorrect' phoneme.
> English /v/ is a labiodental fricative, while English /w/ is a
> labiovelar approximant.
Yep, that's it.
Hindi and Swedish /v/ (IPA ʋ) is a labio-dental approximant;
English /v/ (IPA v) is a voiced labio-dental fricative;
English /w/ (IPA w) is a bilabial approximant.
> What you need to do from a Hindi point
> of view is to make a tenser pronunciation to get [v]
Yep, and get some _friction_ in the sound.
> and a
> very lax bilabial pronunciation to get an acceptable [w].
> If you can get hold of a Tibetan and ask him to pronounce
> ངག་དབང་ /Na:waN/ you will hear the right sound in the middle.=================================================
n Wednesday, September 22, 2004, at 04:20 , Chris Bates wrote:
> 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
or rather |V|. It did duty for three phonemes /u/, /u:/ and /w/. Claudius
introduced an inverted |F| to denote /w/, but the new letter didn't
survive his reign. The form |u| developed in medieval cursive scripts. It
has become common in the UK for 'serious' Latin texts to be printed with
just a single letter: upper-case |V|, lower-case |u|. It was the humanists
of the Italian Renaissance that hit on the idea of making |V| ~ |u| two
separate letters - which is all very well for modern languages :)
> (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),
It depends what sort of Latin. For medieval Latin [v] is almost certainly
> suggesting that this had already happened before
> the romans started writing.
Unlikely, methinks. It is, however, debatable whether the Classical Latin
sound was a bilabial approximant [w] or a labio-dental approximant [v\].
We know that in late Latin & Vulgar Latin, words like _amauimus_ (we loved)
and _amabimus_ (we shall love) had become pronounced the same (which was
probably one factor that led to the replacement of the Latin synthetic
future tense by perisphrastic formations); this suggests a pronunciation
like intervocalic /b/ in Spanish, i.e. a voiced bilabial fricative [B],
but one cannot rule out a voiced labio-dental fricative as early as the VL
period. Indeed, as VL was spoken over such a wide area it is not at all
unlikely that there were regional variations.
> 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.
Doesn't this happen in _all_ the Romance languages? The evidence of
developments from Vulgar Latin is that it was a feature of VL (but
Classical Latin verse shows that these vowels retained vocalic status in
the Classical language)
"They are evidently confusing science with technology."
UMBERTO ECO September, 2004