On Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 11:23 PM, Alex Fink <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > On Tue, 20 Oct 2009 21:47:00 -0500, Eric Christopherson <[log in to unmask] > > > wrote: > > >On Oct 20, 2009, at 2:22 AM, Njenfalgar wrote: > >> each stressed syllable gets high or low tone > >> (unstressed > >> syllables remain neutral) depending on whether the consonant before is > >> voiceless resp. voiced. > > > >Sorry to nitpick, but "respectively" isn't used that way in English (I > >assume you to mean "or" or "versus"), and AFAIK when it is used it > >isn't abbreviated. I wouldn't comment on it except that it can be very > >hard for non-German-speaking people to guess what it means. > > In mathematical English one would perhaps not use precisely _this_ > construction, but it's very understandable, and we're pretty free with > "respectively"s, which can be "resp." informally. (I wonder if this > feature > of mathematical writing came about through translations from German.) I'd > totally write without a second thought > "Each stressed syllable gets high, resp. low, tone if the consonant before > is > voiceless, resp. voiced." > Njenfalgar's construction I might not write, but it seems like the sort of > mixup I've probably committed in speech before, as a reasonable blend > between that and your amendment with "or". > > Maybe I'm biased the other direction, but it would be a little surprising > to > me if Njenfalgar's sentence tripped a native English speaker up. > This is the first time I've seen this "resp" construction, and I could glork it, but it made me pause. This seems to me the most natural way to say it: "Each stressed syllable gets high or low tone if the consonant before is voiceless or voiced respectively." A terser way to do it in written E is to put the ordered alternatives in parentheses: "Each stressed syllable gets high (low) tone if the consonant before is voiceless (voiced)."