I suppose you have to take some dialect as the
referent one. If you decide that in that dialect, the
sound "a" in "fat" is the same than the one is "glap",
then you use the same symbol for both of them, and it
doesn't matter whether somebody finds it nicer to
pronounce them like "ea" in "peak", provided he does
so in both cases, and provided it doesn't bring
confusions with other words, if possible (I think
sometimes it does).

But pronunciation also depends of the context. For ex,
in French, "j" corresponds to what's usually figured
"zh" in English, but if you take an old example again,
in "Je ne t'aime pas" in its usual pronunciation
(shtempa), it's no more "zh", but "sh" (because it
collides with the "t").

As I said: endless quest.

--- Gary Shannon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I'm looking for a term to describe a linguistic
> concept having to do with pronunciation.  This is
> kind
> of difficult to explain, so bear ith me while I try
> to
> make my question understandable.
> A phonetic alphabet is meant to describe what a
> particular sound actually sounds like.  Thus a word
> can be transcribed in different ways to represent
> the
> different manners in which it is pronounced in
> various
> dialects or with various foreign accents.  As a
> result, someone transcribing their own speech into
> some phonetic alphabet could possily transcribe that
> word differently from someone else who spoke with a
> different dialect or accent.  But what I'm looking
> for
> is a variation on a phonetic alphabet that it
> independant of dialect or accent so that even if two
> people spoke with different dialects or accents they
> would still transcribe the word in the same way.
> For example, I might want to say that however YOU
> pronounce the vowel sound in "fat", you should
> pronounce the vowel sound in my conlang word "glap"
> the same way.  Thus different people might pronounce
> "fat" in slightly different ways in the absolute
> sense, but each would pronounce "glap" in the same
> way
> they pronounce "fat" and so they would all be said
> to
> pronounce "glap" the same way in the _relative_
> sense.
> Thus the symbols of this "relative phonetic
> alphabet"
> would not relate to absolute sounds, but to sounds
> relative to how you normally pronounce other sounds
> in
> your own dialect or accent.
> I'm thinking about alphabets like "Shavian" where I
> can read something written by a speaker of British
> English and actually "hear" the British accent in
> what
> is written.  What I'm looking for is a way for a
> speaker of British English to transcribe a word so
> that a speaker of American English or Australian
> English would NOT "hear" the accent when he read it.
> In other words, some symbol like '#' would NOT
> represent some pure definition of a sound, but would
> represent, to each individual speaker, a different
> sound that was relative to his own native dialect or
> accent.  I want to be able to say, in effect, I
> don't
> care how you pronounce "glap" as long as you
> pronounce
> it with the same vowel sound with which YOU
> pronounce
> "fat", even if that's different from the way I
> pronounce "fat".  Thus I'd have an alphabet that was
> both "phonetic" and dialect-neutral, which can never
> be acheived using an alphabet that defines absolute
> sounds.  Am I making any sense with this?
> --gary

Philippe Caquant

"High thoughts must have high language." (Aristophanes, Frogs)

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