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R A Brown wrote:

> quoting me:
>> Textbooks for beginners that I have encountered tend to state that  
>> the circumflex means low-high-low, but when I have tried to  
>> practise it, it sounds quite unnatural.
>
> I would guess that low-high-low was suggested by the shape and that  
> whoever wrote that first simply got copied by others. The  
> descriptions given by Greek and Roman authors are far from clear.
>
> Low-high-low would suggest three morae, which is one mora too many.

Why is that? The Norwegian personal name Søren is pronounced [s2n`],  
where the pitch of the 2 is high, then low, then high. It true that  
the name is still perceived as bisyllabic, so when attempting to  
write it phonetically, it is often made into <Sø-ørn>, or similar, so  
it's perhaps two moras in the first syllable and one in the second. I  
think there is a rule that toneme 2 (which this is about) cannot  
occur in monosyllabic words.

However, in some English dialects or sociolects that I have heard, a  
final vowel is sometimes pronounced with mid-low-high-mid(or low)  
pitch, all in one. How do you explain that in terms of moras?

LEF