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In a message dated 10/4/01 7:06:17 AM, [log in to unmask] writes:

<< <rueful look>  I am unfortunately not familiar with how [?/] sounds.  But
it seems logical enough. >>

    If you can find an Arabic sample, it's the letter called "ayn".  Kind of
sounds like choking.  The easiest way to think about it is this: If you try
to make the purest [i], and then greatly constrict the place of articulation
and try to throw a vowel after it, you'll naturally get a [j]; if you do the
same thing with [u] you get [w]; if you do the same thing with [A] you get
the sound above.  So, make an [A], and then greatly constrict the passage;
you'll get a [?/] (and I'm sorry I don't know the official symbol for this).

<<If a different vowel comes after [o] or [a], are the vowels
articulated separately or do they diphthongize somehow or...?>>

    First dialect or second?  I know I did for the first one, with [?/],
because that's the sound that results when a vowel follows [a].  Also, a [w]
follows [o] the same way it follows [u].

-David