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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)."