Tuesday 31 December 2013

Happy New Year

I wish you all a lot of health and phonetic inspiration!

Sunday 29 December 2013

more in the bu'et?

This a continuation of an earlier blog posting on the description of glottal stop usages.

Eugene Howard Babbitt in his 1896 publication on The English pronunciation of the lower classes in New York and vicinity mentions the usage of the glottal stop in the New York accent on p. 8:

Jespersen in his book Fonetik of 1897-1899 makes this comment on p. 299:

 Joseph Wright in his 1905 English Dialect Grammar briefly mentions the fact that in some Scottish dialect areas intervocalic /t/ is replaced by the glottal catch:

In his Modern English grammar, vol. 1 (1909), Otto Jespersen writes this:

Jespersen distinguishes between glottal reinforcement and glottal replacement. Besides /t/, the two other voiceless stops are mentioned as well.

In 1913 William Grant publishes his Pronunciation of English in Scotland. On p. 30 we find this observation:

Not only are glottal reinforcement and replacement to be heard in connection with /p, t, k/ but also with /n, ŋ/.

I wonder if Dobson has anything to say on this topic in his monumental English pronunciation.

Thursday 26 December 2013

stress minimal pairs - a subgroup

credit: Gary Allman

I think it was John Maidment who started the ball rolling when he put a posting online dealing with stress minimal pairs. I'd like to draw your attention to a subgroup, namely stress minimal pairs the members of which are semantically unrelated.

Consider /ˈtɔːment/ (= severe suffering) and /tɔːˈment/ (= to make someone suffer severely): They share the same
number and types of phonemes and they are semantically closely related. 

/ˈɪnsaɪt/ (= clear understanding) and /ɪnˈsaɪt/ (= encourage someone to do something) also share the same number and types of phonemes, but they are semantically unrelated (well, sort of). It this latter group I'm looking for. Here's a first list (some of the items may have identical stress):

  1. ˈessay (= writing) - esˈsay
  2. ˈforebear - forˈbear (vb)
  3. ˈforegoing - forˈgoing
  4. ˈincense - inˈcense
  5. ˈinsight - inˈcite
  6. ˈintern - inˈtern
  7. ˈtrusty - truˈstee
Any further examples are greatly /əˈpriːsieɪtəd/!

Wednesday 25 December 2013

a li'le bi' of bu'er

The IPA symbol (no. 113) for the glottal plosive is this: [ʔ] This isn't breaking news, is it?
But there have been other suggestions. 
A. M. Bell in his Visible Speech of 1867 describes the glottal "catch" (p. 60) like this:

 The symbol he uses looks like the Greek letter χ or two round brackets (see comments below). In his list of consonant symbols on p. 93 we find a sample word written <buʼer>:

Here Bell indicates the glottal plosive by an apostrophe.

A. J. Ellis in the 4th volume of his Early English pronunciation of 1875 quotes Bell's example on p. 1344, but he uses the semicolon [;] for the glottal stop:

Bell is once again mentioned in Sweet's Handbook of phonetics of 1877 on p. xvi and p. 7. He calls the sound "glottal catch" and uses the symbol [x] for it:

In the 5th edition of his Grundzüge der Phonetik of 1901 Eduard Sievers states on p. 278 that the glottal stop ("Kehlkopfverschluss", which Sievers also calls "Stosston"), for which he uses the symbol [ʾ], replaces an oral closure in some English accents:

Henry Sweet in his Sounds of English of 1908 uses the symbol [!] to indicate a glottal stop:

Daniel Jones in The Pronunciation of English (I have access to the 2nd ed. of 1914) uses the familiar glottal stop symbol (see p. xvi):

This blog posting is greatly indebted to Bjørn Ståhlhane Andrésen’s book Pre-glottalization in English Standard Pronunciation (Oslo, New York, 1968).

Monday 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas

I wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Monday 16 December 2013

ʧœːmən kœriwɜːst ɪn soːhoː

Off-topic posting:

credit: www.herman-ze-german.co.uk/

If you happen to be in London and you're into German worst - sorry: wurst - then you've got to pop into "Herman ze German". The menu can be found here.
They have two shops:
credit: www.herman-ze-german.co.uk/

19 Villiers Street and
33 Old Compton Street

BTW: I don't get any royalty payments for this blog post

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Cruttenden's new edition

credit: Routledge
The new eighth edition is due to come out in February of 2014. The accent described will no longer be RP, but General British (= GB). I'm looking forward to the justification for the change from RP to GB.
Here's the table of contents:
PART I: Speech and language
1. Communication
2. The production of speech
3. The sounds of speech
4. The description and classification of speech sounds
5. Sounds in language
PART II: The sounds of English
6. The historical background
7. Standard and regional accents
8. The English vowels
9. The English consonants
PART III: Words and connected speech
10. Words
11. Connected speech
12. Words in connected speech
13. Teaching the pronunciation of English

There will be a companion website at www.routledge.com/cw/cruttenden.

You can pre-order it now. The recommended retail price is ₤ 29.99.