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Joe wrote:

>Not just word final, but syllable final.  (ie. Apartment [@pA:?mn=?]).  It
>often elides(I think that's the right word), too (ie.What's your name?
>[wO(?)s yO: nejm).
>
Would 'your' truely be pronounced like that if you were eliding the /?/?
I would've expected something more like [wOsj@ nejm]; I'd say [wOtS@ n&im].

>>>whats the difference between [a] and [A]? I've heard that [a] is the
>>>vowel
>>>in "father" while [A] is the vowel in "ought", but I think I pronounce
>>>these vowels the same way. Is this because "father" and "ought" use
>>>the
>>>same vowel in some dialects of English but not in others? Or is it
>>>just
>>>that the difference is very subtle? or what?
>>>
>>>
>>English is the worst example to use when trying to explain sound
>>differences, because of the proliferation of different dialects with
>>different phonologies.
>>
Though our consonants are rather similar. /r/ and /t/ and /d/ seem to be
the biggest places of difference, along with /j/ at times...

>> What is pronounced differently by one won't be by
>>another, and the different vowel systems are just uncomparable. The
>>difference between [a] and [A] is a difference of backness (and note that I
>>was taught that "father" used [A], and "ought" [O:]), i.e. they are
>>pronounced exactly the same, except that [a] is articulated at the front of
>>the mouth (it sounds "clearer", in some way), while [A] is articulated at
>>the back of it (it's created between the back of the tongue and the throat
>>for me for instance).
>>
>>
>In RP, father is [fA:D@], and ought is [O:t](when speaking colloquially,
>[O:?]) In some dialects of American, they're both [A] and in some dialects
>they're [a] and [A:], respectively.  Depends where you come from.
>
I thought if 'father' and 'ought' are different, ought's vowel would be
rounded? or maybe I'm thinking of when 'cot' and 'cought' are
different... (They're all different to me, [fa:D@], [o:t] and [k_hOt].)

>>Note that there is no such thing as a "subtle" difference in phonetics.
>>Languages that make a phonemic difference make it whatever the absolute
>>difference between the sounds. [a] and [A] used to be separate phonemes in
>>French for instance, and people didn't have problems to distinguish them. I
>>know I still don't since the loss of that distinction happened during my
>>lifetime :)) .
>>
>>
>Well, I have more problems distinguishing [a] and [o].
>
Really? Considering there's a vast difference of roundedness, height and
frontedness I'm awfully surprised.

>[A] and [a] sound different to me...
>
>
I only care about one unrounded open vowel, which I transcribe as either
[a] or [6]. They all (i.e. including [A]) sound alike to me.

Tristan

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