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At 1:25 am +0000 27/6/00, Oskar Gudlaugsson wrote:
>>From: Raymond Brown <[log in to unmask]>
>>Subject: Velarization (was: English: Thou)
>>Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2000 12:27:29 +0100
>
>> >I've noticed that there's a lot of extreme velarization in some urban
>> >dialects I've heard on British sitcoms and dramas like "Eastenders".
>> >Is that really that common?
>>
>>Yep - very common in London and its environs.
>>
>>Ray.
>
>Quick question: How does velarization work? What does it sound like? It's
>one of a few phonetic traits that I don't understand.

At 10:31 pm -0500 26/6/00, Danny Wier wrote:
>>From: Oskar Gudlaugsson <[log in to unmask]>
.....
>Velarization (or pharyngealization) is a secondary feature of consonants and
>vowels.  IPA marks consonants with a tilde through the letter, while vowels
>are followed with a superscript turned script a.  Velarized consonants are a
>feature of Arabic and Irish Gaelic; in the former they are called "emphatic"
[snip]
>The same way you advance your tongue forward as though you were uttering the
>vowel [i] for "slender" consonants, you move your tongue backward as you

Yep - and the 'dark' and 'light' _l_ in the Slav langs similar to the the
broad & slender _l_ in Gaelic.  Indeed, the IPA sybolism is derived from
the Polish symbol for dark-l which is like a _l_ with a tilde through the
letter.

In English (and Old French) it means that post-vocalic /l/ in blocked
syllables are velarized.  But in the colloquial speech of London and much
of SE England it has become pronounced as [w].  This also happened in Old
french spelling as is shown in the spelling, e.g. belle (final -e was
pronounced, therefore the syllabification was: be-l@) ~ beau [bj&w].

In colloquial London speech and much of the SE of England, _bell_ is
pronounced [bEw].  Where it occurs in English it tends to shorten the
preceding vowel as well so that, e.g. both _filled_ and _field_ are
pronounced [fIwd].

I believe in Polish 'dark-l' is also generally pronounced [w] - but I'm not
entirely certain on that.

Ray.




Ray.


=========================================
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
                   [J.G. Hamann 1760]
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