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Adrian Morgan wrote:

>Kristian Jensen wrote:
>
>> >(1) The sound in school/cool/fool/tool is essentially
>> >    [w]. Therefore, if I take your description literally,
>> >    it is [u].
>>
>> Yes. At least in Brisbane.
>
>I'm satisfied with this.

Actually, that ought to have been [u:]. The length of the vowel
would not change. I must say though, I'm beginning to have some
doubts as two what exactly is going on before /l/. But if you're
satisfied with this, then OK.

>> >(2) The sound in could/book/wool/woman/ is similar to (1)
>>      and [w], but looser.
>>
>> Yes again. At least in Brisbane. Note though that the
>> difference between (1) and (2) is that (1) is longer than
>> (2). Similar but different.
>
>You mean length is the root difference and tightness a
>secondary (resultant) difference?

I'm not sure what you mean by tightness. If you refering to
aperture, then I'd say that I haven't detected any difference in
aperture between these two vowel sounds. Perhaps its a dialectal
thing.

>> >> For instance, words like "no/know" get rendered as
>[no-y].
>..
>> >I'm quite certain my speech does not contain [o],
>although
>> >my singing voice does. When I sing, no/know are [no:].
>When
>> >I speak, they contain a diphthong that begins with a
>> >neutralish vowel (perhaps [rounded-V]?) and ends with
>vowel
>> >#3 in my list above.
>>
>> YES YES!! This neutralish vowel is [o-], a mid central
>> rounded vowel. Its like a rounded schwa but a bit more
>> closed. And YES, it then ends with the same vowel in (3)
>> above indeed.
>
>So [o-] is not similar to [o] (to my ears, anyway). OK.
>
>>      Phoneme   Australian    American
>>        /u/       [u-y]       [Uw]~[u:]
>>        /U/        [u]           [U]
>>        /o/       [o-y]         [ow]
>>      (where: [u-] and [o-] are centralized vowels)
>
>These are for the words _moon_, _school_ and _code_,
>respectively, right?

No... more like _moon_, _GOOD_, and _code_.

The vowel in _school_ would be long [u:]. I ought to have somehow indicated
above that /u/ is [u:] (or what ever it changes to) before /l/ , otherwise its
[u-y].

>And the IPA doesn't distinguish between
>_school_/_could_?

Yes it does. I hear a length difference; [sku:l] / [kud] (where [l]
is velarized).

>Aren't there any regular symbols to mean
>"a little looser" / "a little tighter"?

Depends on exactly what you mean. There is the tense/lax contrast;
[i] vs [I], [u] vs [U], [e] vs [E], [o] vs [O], etc.. Then there are
also the raised/lowered diacritics that can be used to specify the
aperture of vowels in greater detail. And finally, there is the
mid-centralized diacritic which essentially changes a vowel to
something more laxed.

>The biggest problem I have with the above is that you've got
>/u/ as a diphthong. Well, depending on what the previous
>consonant is, there might indeed be a neutral vowel ([@]
>AFAICT) emitted whilst the mouth moves from the consonant to
>the /u/. For a consonant like 'm' from which the lips must
>first move up before they move out, this is particularly
>likely. But fundamentally, the Australian /u/ is not a
>diphthong.

Perhaps its a dialectal thing? I've always heard a diphthong there.

>I listen to more British speech than American. Can you offer
>the British pronunciations of these phonemes?

There are several dialects alone in the British Isles, so I'm
assuming you mean RP English. I'll have to rely on my own textbooks
for this though. According to them, the RP English pronunciations
of these phonemes are:

     Phoneme     RP English
       /u/          [u:]
       /U/          [U]
       /o/          [@U]

>> What you need is a phonetician. Also, all universities
>with
>> a linguistics department ought to have recordings of
>Daniel
>> Jones reciting the cardinal vowels.
>
>No linguistics department. Only a languages department. I
>believe all the phoneticians are in the speech pathology and
>audiology department in the school of medicine.

Oooh... what a shame. I wonder if there are online sources that
have recordings of Dan Jones. I do know that Peter Ladefoged (a
famous phonetician) has an online tutorial with recordings somewhere
out there. All you need is a search engine.

-kristian- 8)