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Re: Hear Me! Hear Me!

From:Adrian Morgan <morg0072@...>
Date:Sunday, June 23, 2002, 23:44
Tristan McLeay wrote:

> 'There' sounds as though it's having an abnormal pronunciation (it > could, of course, be a normal pronunciation for you, but the rest is
The whole thing is normal for me, though it should be noted that it's meant to demonstrate the voice I would use to recite poetry or read a book aloud, rather than the accelerated voice I would use in casual conversation. Sometimes there's a difference. This shouldn't affect "there", however, which to most people I know here in S.A., is definately diphthonic.
> fairly Australian so maybe I'm just linking it to what I know). 'World' > sounded a bit strange, don't know what exactly it is, it could just have > been a bit less rounded than mine is or something.
I emphasise the 'l' in "world" or "girl" more than most South Australians would - some people would even say [weud].
> > Do you consider the vowel-phrase in "our"/"devour" to be a triphthong? > > I'd consider 'devour' to have a triphthong, but not 'our' (which is just > /{u/; consider 'our own', which is [%{u"w8un], not [%{u"r\8un] (hmm... > that looks like gibberish). ('Hour', however, has the the triphthong.)
No, I disagree - "hour" does not have a thriphthong because it's two syllables [&w@] which makes the middle sound a consonant. Whereas in "our" the middle sound is (to me, at least in slow deliberate speech) a very subtle tightening in the back of the mouth which does not constitute a syllable break. This makes it a triphthong (as opposed to two vowels with a consonant in the middle, which is what "hour" is).
> > Its first vowel is the same [&] as in _south_ [s&uT] [which, > > interestingly, is wider (closer to [a]) than the [&] in _at_ [&t] or > > _aye_ [&i], which is relatively closed (closer to [E]). > > Probably not all that interesting, actually. The [{u] vowel derives from > an earlier [au], whereas the [{i] comes from [ei], so they're just > reflecting their heritage.
Yes but it's interesting from the point of view of discovering what sounds can be distinguished in a dialect/idiolect.
> (I can't hear a difference, though.)
I came to notice it by listening to people in whose idiolect [{] in _how_ and _hat_ are identical, and analysing why they sounded strange to me. It's not an uncommon idiolect. After a while I realised it's because my [{] in _how_ is wider, closer to [a].
> > I'm not sure which of these two variants is considered "pure" [&], > > My guess is it's [{u]'s vowel that is: I understand the Australia [{] is > higher than the American, which is 'pure'. I'm pretty sure it's higher > than the Finnish, if that helps.
I know that in most British speech I hear on TV, their regular [{] is more like the one I use in [{u].
> (Tangentially, I've found me sometimes neutralising /I/ to [@] and > raising /{/ to [E] when I shouldn't be, similar (but not identical) to > what Kiwis* do. Nevertheless, /E/ doesn't seem to want to budge, and > when it does, it heads south, merging with /{/ (cf. the salary/celery > merger).)
I'm never sure about [E]. It's defined in my head as "halfway between [e] and [{]", and I think you hear a lot of teenage girls using it in place of [e] sometimes these days. But I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist in my idiolect.
> > or how they are distinguished in narrow transcription, > > With a raised or lowered diacritic, or if you could afford it, with [a] > for the lower of the two.
So "raised" and "lowered" refer to that distinction. OK. I'm a bit fuzzy on the details of the terminology.
> Different to me: the middle vowel in the /{u@/ triphthong *is* a [u] (or > [U] or [w] or something). Although it's normally included, it sometimes > disappears, with compensatory lengthening on the previous vowel (i.e. > [{;]). When it disappears, the [@] becomes more [{]-like. (The /u/ is > very likely to die when the /@/ is pronounced as [r]; when it doesn't, > the /u/ becomes an [y] for whatever reason; this occurs to any [u] (or > whatever vowel I actually use there; I have suspicions it isn't > [u]-proper) before an [r].)
I think your IPA is way in advance of mine. But I do know that "our" is a word that differs greatly between different idiolects. Adrian.


Tristan McLeay <kesuari@...>