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Alexandre Lang wrote:

> On Mon, 26 Jan 2004 17:23:28 +0100, "Carsten Becker"
> <[log in to unmask]> said:
>
> > [?] is a glottal stop. The airflow from the lungs is completely stopped,
> > like in English "uh-oh" (X-Sampa) [%V?O_U] or the German children's word
> > for
> > "bowel movement", "A-a" (X-Sampa) [%A?A:].
> So [?] is just a pause? Or is there a difference?
> --
Well, yes and no.  [?] involves the complete closure of the vocal folds
(vocal cords)-- essentially what you do when you start to cough, or hold
your breath.  No air from the lungs can pass, so it's voiceless.  You can
maintain the closure for as long as you can hold your breath :-)). So in
that sense it's a pause.  As a speech sound, it's just another stop, like p
t or k, and doesn't usually last any longer than they do. Between vowels, it
prevents elision, so [i?a] are clearly distinct, whereas [ia] will usually
involve a slight automatic/intrusive [j] perhaps [i(j)a], and  [a?a] will be
two distinct a's separated by a brief stopped period of voicelessness.

OTOH [aa] will most likely involve continuous voicing in the interval
between the two a's (the so-called "voiced h", or "hiatus". It's two
distinct syllables.  Note that that [a(H)a] is not a long a, which is simply
the prolongation of the single vowel sound, so [a:], usually considered just
one distinct syllable.

You asked too about "final h".  If you can produce initial and intervocalic
h, try this:  say "aha", then lop off the final a-- you'll have [ah].  Say
"behind" and lop off the final [ajnd] and you'll have [ih] (note that the
tongue stays in [a]- respectively [i]-position).  That's how we teach
Anglophones to pronounce Indonesian /-h/.  Some analyze this as a sequence
of "(voiced)vowel+(same)unvoiced vowel".