Re: Germanic vowel correspondences (was: Scots.)
|From:||Tristan McLeay <conlang@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, July 26, 2008, 1:09|
On 25/07/08 22:41:02, John Vertical wrote:
> On Mon, 21 Jul 2008 23:42:24 +1000, Tristan McLeay wrote:
> >Do you do something to words like "either" and "ceiling" or are you
> >declaring that "ei" is permitted to be ambiguous?
> Not thus far... "Either" is impossible to standardize anyway, and it
> seems to me
> that it's not entirely random what's going on elsewhere (eg . /eI/
> when final
> stressed, /i/ when final unstressed); but I've yet to settle on
> anything. The
> three wholly aberrant cases of <ea> = /eI/ are OTOH quick to do away,
> and I
> think <ei> conveys a conscious decision somewhat better than
> <ai>/<ay>, at
> least much better than the homograph-producing <a_e>. It's more
> from a phonetic viewpoint, too...
I don't think being accurate from a phonetic viewpoint is nearly as
important as being consistent. Everyone knows that "ai" spells your
/eI/. No-one really knows what "ei" spells and in general whatever the
guess is, it turns out wrong. Also, given the relationships between
words like nation:national it's clear that a long a is a variety of a,
and that's how everyone I know thinks of it.
> <ear> = /Er/ is a different case tho; here the status quo looks the
> least ugly
> to my eyes.
I suspect you're influenced too much by your native language and/or the
phonetic transcription. "-ear" is obviously ambiguous to the reader
when they can't tell which pronunciation of "tear" is intended, but not
that obviously ambiguous to the writer so they'll forget to clarify in
> BTW the point in all this respelling isn't as much creating a
> different standard
> as it is to braque ;) out of the idea that even when the system
> multiple spellings per pronunciation, only one may be accepted.
Heh --- I cop enough flak for spelling "color" that way and that's the
national standard in America and has a very long history of standard
use by various sources here in Australia. (Well, as much as anything
can have a very long history in Australia ;)
> >Well ... okay so Australian English probably never had [au ai], it
> >has [a a:] (i.e. central qualities) and it doesn't have [A A:] (i.e.
> >back qualities). There is apparently evidence that from [@u @i] in
> >dialects the first target went straight down, whereas in others it
> >continued in the direction that makes the diphthong the greatest ...
> The nucleus height, or what AUsEng looks like today, are hardly
> relevant for
> this... but basically, you're trying to say that this kind of a
> SHOULD be
Well, not as the only option, but indeed as a preferred choice.
>Okay, I can think of one argument for that; when there are
> and front open vowels recognized, it will be possible to hear a
> difference in [au ai] (or [6u 6i], or whatever) that would not be
> there for [Au
> &i]... so they're prone to get interpreted as /&/+/u/ and /A/+/i/,
> rather than
> vice versa. Sound good so far? Examples of /au ai/ > /o: e:/ seem to
> be found
> mostly in languages with only /a/.
> So we have a hypothesis, but now, where else do they have languages
> distinguishing /& A/ (vowel harmony langs aside)? At least Persia and
> Tibet, I
> think... neither seems to have been home to any shifts of this sort
Well, we need non-front/back harmonic languages with /& A/ independent
of length and have at least one diphthong someone like /ai au/
(including high-assimilated varients like /&A/).
Incidentally, by "Tibet" what language do you mean? According to
Wikipedia Lhasa Tibetan has [i y u e 2 o E a] with [a] considered front
but possessing a significant allophone [V] or [@].
In any case, neither Persian nor Lhasa Tibetan have diphthongs
according to wp.
> >An unconditional u > y change is a pretty common one.
> ZBB's sound changes thred includes an example of unconditional o > i
> some Algonquian language, I suspect something similar there too BTW.
> >And just because Australia and North America aren't part of western
> >central Eurasia doesn't mean they can't've been influenced by speech
> >forms in that area as much as any language. Mandarin has /y/ and
> >accounts for a large proportion of the EFL speakers in Australia
> >(although the change probably predates them). Germans and
> >apparently made up a large proportion of immigrants to America in
> This is a point, too. How about we'll only call it weird if they then
> hang along
> for the next 200 years? ;)
Sure --- same place, same time, two hundred years hence? See you then!