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Thread: Canadian Raising in other Languages

  1. #21
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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by JuanEscritor View Post
    Well, that is the purpose of this thread. If the phenomenon is phonetic, then we should find it in other languages; but the distributional pattern is exactly what we would expect if the phenomenon exists as a side-effect of GVS (and aside from Moreton and Thomas, this is a typical analysis in the literature), and so this is the best explanation if a phonetic explanation cannot be supported.

    So far I have seen no support for a phonetic explanation. Even within a single analysis the phonetic explanation usually fails to account for variations seen; for example, most AE speakers with raised /aɪ/ do not have raised /aʊ/, an issue never investigated by Moreton and Thomas.

    JE
    I think it is time now for you to explain why you think an etymological approach explains the phenomenon better. I am not really seeing your point yet.

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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by JuanEscritor View Post
    Yes; but even besides that, for almost all varieties of English that exist today, vowel length is not phonemic. What folks are calling long vowels versus short vowels are actually qualitative distinctions more than quantitative. In the proper phonetic context, long /ɛ/ can be equal to or longer than short /e/. And I don't even see evidence of actual phonemicity of vowel length in AuE, since no minimal pairs have been presented.
    Burn-bun. In all non-rhotic accents that have the phoneme /ʌ/, the distinction between /ə/, /ʌ/ and /ɜ:/ depends crucially on length (reduced-short-long).

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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    Burn-bun. In all non-rhotic accents that have the phoneme /ʌ/, the distinction between /ə/, /ʌ/ and /ɜ:/ depends crucially on length (reduced-short-long).
    What makes you think these vowels are of identical quality?

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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by JuanEscritor View Post
    What makes you think these vowels are of identical quality?
    /ɜ:/ ranges from [ə:] to [ɜ]; /ə/ from [ə] to [ɐ]; /ʌ/ occupies a space in the triangle [ɜ]-[ɐ]-[ʌ]. There is simply too much overlay to allow a stable phonemic distinction without the support of quantity. This is like /ɪ/ and /e:/ in Latin which were simply to close qualitatively to allow continued phonemic distinction when vowel length became non-phonemic and the two merged and we find Latin became di in Italian and de in French.

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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    I think it is time now for you to explain why you think an etymological approach explains the phenomenon better. I am not really seeing your point yet.
    ME /i:/ went through a stage during the GVS of something like /ʌi/ (the same diphthong seen in CR). As the final stage of the Great Vowel Shift, this vowel underwent a further shift down to its present Standard form of /aɪ/. But as we know, GVS acted only on long vowels.

    In most dialects, the rules for determining vowel length were not in their present predictable form, and so /ʌi/ was a long vowel as it had historically been when it was /i:/. In some dialects, however, present vowel-length rules were developing (e.g., short vowels precede voiceless consonants) and so any instance of /ʌi/ that satisfied the requirements for being short became short, and so failed to undergo the final GVS shift: creating a distributional pattern of [ʌi] in short-vowel environments and [aɪ] in long-vowel environments--a distributional pattern still seen today in CR dialects.

    If you are convinced that the matter is phonetic, then your evidence consists of showing that the process is universal (short /aɪ/ becomes [ʌi] in all languages where the proper conditions are met), which might be difficult to do since even different dialects of English don't observe the CR rule even though they may make /aɪ/ phonetically shorter in specific environments.

    I'm not convinced the phonetic explanation has to be wrong, but I am convinced that there has not yet been any evidence presented in its favor; the GVS explanation, on the other hand, is swimming with evidence to its credit.

    JE

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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    /ɜ:/ ranges from [ə:] to [ɜ]; /ə/ from [ə] to [ɐ]; /ʌ/ occupies a space in the triangle [ɜ]-[ɐ]-[ʌ]. There is simply too much overlay to allow a stable phonemic distinction without the support of quantity. This is like /ɪ/ and /e:/ in Latin which were simply to close qualitatively to allow continued phonemic distinction when vowel length became non-phonemic and the two merged and we find Latin became di in Italian and de in French.
    Vowels can have phonetic length differences without having phonemic length differences.

    But, I feel this is going a little off-topic with the discussion of phonemic vowel length in English. It is enough to point out that the raised diphthongs of CR occur in environments that trigger short-vowels; that they are shorter than their unraised counterparts; and that this distributional pattern is the same for all CR dialects.

    The issue is: why does CR always trigger in short-vowel environments? Is it because, as Moreton and Thomas claim, diphthongs are 'dominated by the offglide' when short, or is it because the phenomenon is related to the historic GVS?

    JE

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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by JuanEscritor View Post
    But, I feel this is going a little off-topic with the discussion of phonemic vowel length in English.
    Agreed. Let's drop it.
    Quote Originally Posted by JuanEscritor View Post
    It is enough to point out that the raised diphthongs of CR occur in environments that trigger short-vowels; that they are shorter than their unraised counterparts; and that this distributional pattern is the same for all CR dialects.
    Ok.
    Quote Originally Posted by JuanEscritor View Post
    The issue is: why does CR always trigger in short-vowel environments? Is it because, as Moreton and Thomas claim, diphthongs are 'dominated by the offglide' when short, or is it because the phenomenon is related to the historic GVS?
    Short vowels in general have a tendency towards to centre, i.e. towards [ə]. That is what we can learn from Latin and German, I think.

    If it had an etymological background then you should find similar conditions in Scots. Scots isn't really in my centre of expertise, so I am hesitant to make a statement. But I am not aware that there are any conditions for the realizations [əʊ] or [aʊ]. I think, it is simple dialectal variation.

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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by JuanEscritor View Post
    ...creating a distributional pattern of [ʌi] in short-vowel environments and [aɪ] in long-vowel environments--a distributional pattern still seen today in CR dialects.
    Your formulation suggests you assume it is a retention of an older state rather than a new development subsequent to the completion of the shift to [aɪ] in the 18th century. I wouldn't take this as a matter of course and it should be investigated.

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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    Short vowels in general have a tendency towards to centre, i.e. towards [ə].
    It's not centered; it's raised. Both parts of the diphthong are raised in the vowel space, and the offglide of the raised diphthong is even further from the center than the offglide of the unraised diphthong.

    I have formant values that I can post this weekend.

    If it had an etymological background then you should find similar conditions in Scots.
    And we do. Look at the variation in the same phoneme that happens as part of the Scottish Vowel Length Rule. The variation is also reported in other dialects of English (which I can list when I get to my sources).

    But I am not aware that there are any conditions for the realizations [əʊ] or [aʊ].
    As the Wiki article says, the raised versions of both of these vowels occur in short-vowel environments.

    JE

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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by JuanEscritor View Post
    It's not centered; it's raised.
    C'mon. You know perfectly well what is meant by "towards [ə]", the big spider in the centre of the cobweb.
    Quote Originally Posted by JuanEscritor View Post
    Both parts of the diphthong are raised in the vowel space, and the offglide of the raised diphthong is even further from the center than the offglide of the unraised diphthong.
    Than we have to clarify what "version" of the CR were are talking of. The realizations are not uniform.
    The raised variant of // typically becomes [ʌɪ], while the raised variant of // varies by dialect, with [ʌʊ] more common in the west and a fronted variant [ɛʉ] commonly heard in Central Canada.
    (Wiki). The transcriptions [ʌɪ] and [ʌʊ] do not indicate rasing of the second part.
    Quote Originally Posted by JuanEscritor View Post
    I have formant values that I can post this weekend.
    Would be interesting. Even more interesting would be the recordings. (I hope not your own voice, that would be a grave methodological error; the speaker should not know what you are trying to analyse, otherwise hyper-corrections are all but inevitable; but you certainly know that -- just making absolutely sure).
    Quote Originally Posted by JuanEscritor View Post
    As the Wiki article says, the raised versions of both of these vowels occur in short-vowel environments.
    Thanks. That is an important clue. Do you know if the occurrence of the phenomenon in Canada is connected with immigration from Scotland?

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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    C'mon. You know perfectly well what is meant by "towards [ə]", the big spider in the centre of the cobweb.
    By centre I assume you mean 'center'. If you meant something else, then please tell us what that was.
    (Wiki). The transcriptions [ʌɪ] and [ʌʊ] do not indicate rasing of the second part.
    Wiki is wrong. I have sources on this and will post them when I find them (and the time); then I will edit the Wiki to reflect the sources (the sourcing in the article is really poor and it needs cleaning up).
    Would be interesting. Even more interesting would be the recordings.
    I don't have all the recordings, but I do have numbers. Some of this is stuff I collected as an undergrad and it has been misplaced or is incomplete. I'll see what I can find.

    (I hope not your own voice, that would be a grave methodological error; the speaker should not know what you are trying to analyse, otherwise hyper-corrections are all but inevitable; but you certainly know that -- just making absolutely sure).
    Phoneticians analyze their own speech all the time when formulating hypotheses. I am not publishing books with the information; I think for informal analysis self-recordings are fine. I do also have recordings of other speakers that I am eager to check for this when I get a free moment; I also have some length data scratched out on some paper from other recordings I collected a few years back. It's informal, but will do for a forum discussion. The information I've analyzed (from myself and others) conforms to the hypothesis I've laid out in this thread.

    I'd have better information on this if my life revolved around linguistics as I'd like it to.

    Do you know if the occurrence of the phenomenon in Canada is connected with immigration from Scotland?
    It has been only somewhat investigated and I have read some of those investigations, but I don't remember all the conclusions. It is certainly a possibility that these are connected, but it is by no means a requirement. Once the distributional pattern for CR is established in a group of speakers it can spread into other dialects which are otherwise unrelated to the original one. (Indeed, this is true of all dialectical variations.) If the variation originates from the final stages of GVS it could be impossible to find a single geographical origin (if one ever even existed). This may be especially true given the fact that vowel length rules differ in the various CR dialects and the process of creating a CR distributional pattern from GVS involves two independent steps that could be completed to different degrees in different and unrelated dialects.

    JE

  12. #32
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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by Alxmrphi View Post
    Given that you said "any vowel inserted will behave according to these rules" I imagine there must be a fairly lengthy list of examples which allows such a wide-ranging claim to be made and some of these must be able to starkly show a common history and frequency that shows a morpheme environment to be the deciding factor.
    Or that I made a generalization. The number of environments that exist for fully studying this is small.

    Either way, the link between vowel length and CR is borne out in several examples, such as higher vs. hire, high school vs. highschool; the latter of each set being (potentially) raised.

    The idea does make a lot of sense, because that is quite similar to what happened with NG-coalescence in English. I'm just curious about examples that don't need to resort to non-words to provide evidence for that claim.
    Non-words? The words are unusual, but by no means 'non'.

    JE

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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by JuanEscritor View Post
    By centre I assume you mean 'center'. If you meant something else, then please tell us what that was.
    Raising of [a] is a move towards the centre of vowel space. And that happens to short vowels in may languages: low vowels are raised, high vowels are lowered, front vowels move backwards and back vowels move forward ([u:] vs. [ʊ], [i:] vs. [ɪ], and, by the same logic, [a:] vs. [ɐ]).
    Quote Originally Posted by JuanEscritor View Post
    I don't have all the recordings, but I do have numbers. Some of this is stuff I collected as an undergrad and it has been misplaced or is incomplete. I'll see what I can find.
    Thank you. If it is too much effort, then don't. I was just curious. There are enough samples on the net.
    Quote Originally Posted by JuanEscritor View Post
    Once the distributional pattern for CR is established in a group of speakers it can spread into other dialects which are otherwise unrelated to the original one.
    Sure. The question was, if immigration of Scots can be traced as the seed of the phenomenon.
    Quote Originally Posted by JuanEscritor View Post
    Once the distributional pattern for CR is established in a group of speakers it can spread into other dialects which are otherwise unrelated to the original one.
    I understand; we all have day-time jobs.

  14. #34
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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    Raising of [a] is a move towards the centre of vowel space. And that happens to short vowels in may languages: low vowels are raised, high vowels are lowered, front vowels move backwards and back vowels move forward ([u:] vs. [ʊ], [i:] vs. [ɪ], and, by the same logic, [a:] vs. [ɐ]).
    But the [ɪ] is also raised, putting it at [i]. One value of Moreton and Thomas's research is the extensive acoustic analysis they did on CR for /aɪ/. They found that (1) the diphthong is raised in its entirety instead of the /a/ portion merely moving closer to /ɪ/; (2) the raised diphthong is more diphthongal than the unraised one. Their analysis demonstrates that CR is not an occurrence of typical English vowel reduction/centering. In the measurements I have done, I have only been able to confirm their results.

    Thank you. If it is too much effort, then don't. I was just curious.
    It's effort all right; but fun and worth the trouble!

    There are enough samples on the net.
    If you know of a source for these samples, a link would be greatly appreciated.

    Sure. The question was, if immigration of Scots can be traced as the seed of the phenomenon.
    It maybe can be, but I don't think it has been.

    JE

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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    I just browsed in historical dictionaries to find the standard pronunciation (the then equivalent to RP) of these diphthongs around 1800 as a historical reference. Walker's transcription for /aɪ/ is a2e1 and for /aʊ/ o3u3. Translated into IPA this would be /ai/~/ɑi/ (can't be distinguished in his system; note that the second part is /i/ and not /ɪ/) and /ɔʊ/, respectively. There is no indication of variants. About and bound have the same transcription of the diphthong.

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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    I just browsed in historical dictionaries to find the standard pronunciation (the then equivalent to RP) of these diphthongs around 1800 as a historical reference. Walker's transcription for /aɪ/ is a2e1 and for /aʊ/ o3u3. Translated into IPA this would be /ai/~/ɑi/ (can't be distinguished in his system; note that the second part is /i/ and not /ɪ/) and /ɔʊ/, respectively. There is no indication of variants. About and bound have the same transcription of the diphthong.
    Moreton and Thomas also transcribe the phoneme as /ai/, but they do not actually think the second element of the unraised form is /i/, as evidenced by their distinction in phonetic transcription and the formant values they collected.

    Transcriptions can be tough things to trust for such specific distinctions.

    JE

  17. #37
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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Walker explicitly says it is /i/. It is not just sloppy transcription. But that doesn't mean he's right, of course. Walker was the Jones of his days and his dictionary had some normative influence.

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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    Walker explicitly says it is /i/. It is not just sloppy transcription. But that doesn't mean he's right, of course. Walker was the Jones of his days and his dictionary had some normative influence.
    Can I ask which particular text you're looking at?

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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by JuanEscritor View Post
    Can I ask which particular text you're looking at?
    I am sorry, I thought "Walker" didn't need any explanation (like "Webster"). But maybe it is only well known among students of British English historical phonology: John Walker: A critical pronouncing dictionary. There are various editions available online from the 1790s until the 1850s. Here is one.

  20. #40
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    Re: Canadian Raising in other Languages

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    I am sorry, I thought "Walker" didn't need any explanation (like "Webster"). But maybe it is only well known among students of British English historical phonology: John Walker: A critical pronouncing dictionary. There are various editions available online from the 1790s until the 1850s. Here is one.
    Oh I found plenty about Mr. Walker, I just couldn't find much specifically about the transcription you mentioned. I figured if we were working from the same text it might help the discussion.

    As for his renown in the U.S., you might be right. I think his name only came up a couple of times in all my linguistics courses.

    Regarding the document in your link, I am not sure how his transcription here can be too helpful. He doesn't seem to give us any indication as to the actual phonetic values of the phonemes he has transcribed. If I were giving a phonemic description (what dictionaries give) of my own CR speech, I would transcribe the /aɪ/ phoneme the same regardless of whether or not it was raised in a particular context.

    If we are looking to historical sources for guidance, my alma mater has an old book that discusses the raised value of the diphthong. I don't remember exactly what it says, but I can see if the book is still around and post the relevant portion.

    And now to make a list of all the stuff I need to find for this thread...

    JE

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