> Date:         Tue, 6 Nov 2001 00:23:25 +1100
> From: Tristan Alexander McLeay <[log in to unmask]>
> At 05.24 a.m. 4.11.2001 -0500, you wrote:

Who is you here? People are getting very sloppy about attributions

> >       Cosonants are usually voiced intervocalically and
> > word-finally.  This is only "usually", however, since they can appear
> > voiceless.  The main key in telling the difference between voiced and
> > voiceless stops in English is aspiration.  Intervocalically and in
> > non-stressed positions is the only place where you're likely to find some
> > variation, and even then, some strings have been pulled, so that /t/ and
> > /d/ are always [4] (alveolar flap), so that there is no distinction.  /g/
> > is never voiced, apparently--only very rarely, and that has to do with
> > the aerodynamic voicing constraint.  So the two velar stops in English
> > are [k] and [k_h].  When the issue of "half-voicing" comes up, what that
> > means is that is that the sound starts out voiced, but ends up being
> > voiceless, and this also has to do with the aerodynamic voicing
> > constraint.  Say in the word "bad".  You'd expect something like [b&:d],
> > but you end up with something more like [p&dt], where the consonant is
> > initially voiced, but (and this happens especially utterance finally)
> > when you come to the end, you tend to let the voicing go, and the end of
> > the [d] ends up being more like a [t].  You can verify this with sound
> > analysis software, such as PRAAT (the one I use).

> So does this kind of stuff relate to why children say 'basketti' for
> 'spaghetti'? (Not so much the metathesis but more the p>b and g>k changes.)

The English voiced/unvoiced distinction is neutralized after /s/. The
unvoiced, unaspirated stops used in that position are spelt unvoiced,
but are heard as allophones of the voiced phonemes.

So the kids hear the pronunciation as /sbA"gE4I/ and move the /s/
along to get /bAsgE4I/ --- which would have to be spelt baschetti in

Now, the reason why English-speaking kids prefer the version with a
voiced labial over the one with a (sort of) voiced velar may actually
have something to do with the aerodynamic voicing constraint. But
that's just a guess.

Lars Mathiesen (U of Copenhagen CS Dep) <[log in to unmask]> (Humour NOT marked)