And Rosta wrote: [snip] > > One can afford to leave 'vowel' as a nontechnical term, it being useful > to have nontechnical terms for use in nontechnical descriptions. Then > its technical phonetic substitutes would be 'vocoid', or 'approximant' > and 'resonant', and its technical phonological substitute would be, say, > 'nucleus' (or 'voceme', even). > > Linguistic typology, involving the impressionistic comparison of > different languages, has need of nontechnical terms, such as 'vowel', to > capture the powerful resemblances among different languages' mechanics; > so I'm not suggesting that 'nontechnical' means 'not of value to > linguistics'. (But I am suggesting it means 'not of value to a > structural analysis of a single language'.) As this thread continues, I'm coming to very similar conclusions to And's above. ["RHOTIC VOWEL"] The thread started, if you recall, with Livni's question about what he called a 'rhotic vowel'. I have no problem at all in referring to [r=] (or any other similar sound) as a (phonological) vowel in any particular language. In Sanskrit [r\`=], [r\`=:], [l`=] and [l`=:] are all classified as vowels and each has its own representation in the Devanagari abugida. In 1980 edition of TY Serbo-Croat I read: "trilled _r_, as a consonant or vowel." [PHONOLOGICAL VOWEL] There is clearly a difference in usage of the term 'vowel' in phonetics and phonology, otherwise Kenneth Pike wouldn't have introduced the term _vocoid_ to denote a 'phonetic vowel' as distinct from a phonological vowel. However, I concede that I may be interpreting Crystal's statement about phonological vowels being syllabic nuclei perhaps too loosely. While I have no problem in accepting that in language X or Y, sounds such as [r=], [l=], [n=] may constitute phonological vowels, I am having some trouble extending that to _voiceless_ sounds such as the [s=] in my pronunciation of _pst!_ [ps=t]. Interjections, as we have been rightly reminded, often contain sounds outside of the normal phonology of a language. Do some languages extensively use sounds such as [s=], [f=] and [x=] as syllable nuclei? How common is this? ["SYLLABLE-LESS LANGUAGES"] I assume Tristan got his Nuxálk examples & notion of syllable-less language from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syllable#Syllable-less_languages In the article, it is stated that [ʦ’ktskʷʦ’] "he has arrived" has been parsed into 0, 2, 3, 5, or 6 syllables depending which analysis is used! However, the section does not make the case for phonological words having no syllables. Nor does it explain how these other analyses can arrive at differing numbers of syllables. One would ideally like to have had recordings of these so-called 'syllable-less words'. Certainly IMO one needs *much more* detailed phonological information to make any intelligent comment. I would wish to read the arguments given for 0 syllables, 6 syllables and at least one of the intermediary number. Also spectrograms of at least some of the examples would have helped, for as Mark J. Reed wrote: [snip] > As far as I know, syllable nuclei are readily identifiable from > spectrograms of fluid speech. You can also mostly tell whether such > nuclei are actually vowels or some other form of sonorant, although > the distinction lies along a spectrum of degrees of friction with no > clear line in the middle. > > For the most part it's the boundaries between syllables that are > imprecise and dependent on phonological interpretation. Agreed. It would be interesting to see if spectrograms of fluid spoken Nuxálk would confirm the existence of syllable-less phonological words. [snip] > > I don't know anything about this [sxs] thing, though. The > transcription certainly doesn't give me enough to figure out how to > pronounce it myself. No it does not. I can find four ways to pronounce the thing - they are different. Tristan himself observed that [lrn] could be interpreted as disyllabic [l=rn=] or monosyllabic [lr=n]. _Without more data_, there is no way one can figure out its correct pronunciation. >I'd love to hear a recording and/or see a > spectrogram of someone pronouncing it. AMEN! AMEN! >Was there a link to one that I missed? > If there is, I've missed it as well. -- Ray ================================== http://www.carolandray.plus.com ================================== "Ein Kopf, der auf seine eigene Kosten denkt, wird immer Eingriffe in die Sprache thun." [J.G. Hamann, 1760] "A mind that thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language".