Phonetics and phonology resources - please contribute

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Hulalessar, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. Hulalessar

    Hulalessar Senior Member

    English - England
    Many languages have consonantal sounds that do not occur in any European language. Explanations of how these sounds are formed tend to be phrased in terms that are unhelpful to those whose knowledge of phonetics is limited, viz: "Implosive consonants are stops (rarely affricates) with a mixed glotallic ingressive and pulmonic egressive airstream mechanism." Whilst I know the meaning of each word, the whole does not mean anything! Is there a site that explains in less technical terms how such sounds are formed or, even better, gives audio samples of them?

    I really am curious to know what a voiced uvular implosive sounds like.

    Moderator note: please contribute resources to the Phonetic and Phonology tutorial here; we will add them to our phonetics tuturial thread continually.

    Also suggestions for the text itself may be submitted here (and moved to the tutorial thread as we see fit), or if you have to add a whole new chapter still missing (e. g. about tones) you may write it here and we could move to our sticky.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2009
  2. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Hello guys,

    I've gone online with the phonetics sticky; Hulalessar, I hope it helps understanding what an implosive sounds like, and how you could learn to produce one. :)

    This thread will remain open for resources contributions; also please tell me if I've got something wrong in that sticky (typos included), or if you have to add anything of significance: we will include resources and other suggestions continually to that sticky (and delete those posts in this thread here as soon as they're added).

    I'm preparing a phonological section too, just give me a little time to work on it.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2009
  3. neonrider Member

    Vilnius (Lazdynai)
    Lithuanian / Lietúvüü
    Let's set a common standard to transcribe Russian language when Latin letters are used thusly:

    Russian - Proposed Latin

    А=Aa, Б=Bb, В=Vv, Г=Gg, Д=Dd, Е=Ie/ie (Je/je), Ё=Jo/jo, Ж=Zh/zh, З=Zz, И=Ii/Yy, Й=Jj, К=Kk, Л=Ll, М=Mm, Н=Nn, О=Oo, П=Pp, Р=Rr, С=Ss, Т=Tt, У=Uu, Ф=Ff, Х=Kh/kh, Ц=Cc, Ч=Ch/ch, Ш=Sh/sh, Щ=Sch/sch, Ъ=Hh, Ы=Hi/hi, Ь=Jj, Э=He/he, Ю=Ju/ju, Я=Ja/ja

    I included both uppercase and lowercase letters.

    "E" should be written as "je" or as "ie" depending.

    In Щ=Sch/sch there is no need to write two "h" as "shch".

    "Ы" can alternatively be written as Hy/hy. Examples of writing "Ы=Hi/hi":

    TЫ = thi (thy)
    MЫ = mhi (mhy)
    BЫCOKИЙ = vhysokij (vhisokij)

    I use "h" as "hardening" in "Э=he", "Ъ=h", and "Ы=hy".

    I hope that makes sense and will be widespread adopted.

    Example of a Russian language sentence in Latin alphabet:

    Kogda mhy prijekhali v dierievnju, vsie ljudi uzhe spali. Utrom mhi pojeli pischu, kotoruju privjoz hekonomist kolkhoza. Nu a potom, v putj daljokij, na rhynok.

    Mod note:

    Posts moved; motivated by them we will consider adding some help for transliterations to our phonetics sticky.
    Unfortunately there exist a zillion different kinds of transliterations already, to define yet another one might only complicate things further.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2010
  4. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    "mhi" for "мы" is confusing: I would read this as "мхи", which obviously has a different sense, especially in "мхи поели пищу".

    "sch" for "щ" only if "s4" is to be used for "сч" "сч" and "щ" is not the same.

    "he" for "э": no way. What do you do with "хер" (before somebody takes offence, I specify that this word is the ancient name of the letter "х" and only later acquired the sense which it is given today) and "похерить"?
  5. Il chirurgo

    Il chirurgo New Member

    Digraphs are stupid and confusing, may I ask why in god's name is Х=Kh/kh and not Х=X/x ???

    and we have the useless latin letters ( c, q ) and other letters with not russian counterparts (h, w, y). I would use ''y'' to indicate palatalization instead of your confusing ''hy''. Ц = ts, 'C' can indicate Ш and Ч will simply be 'tc' and as for Щ, maybe Щ=Qq (remember chinese q is roughly similar to Ч or ch in chip).

    And as for ie/je, only write Je at the begining of the word.
  6. Hulalessar

    Hulalessar Senior Member

    English - England
    It is important to distinguish "transliteration" which is the representation of the letters of one alphabet with the letters (or combinations of letters) of another alphabet on a consistent one for one basis from "transcription" where the aim is to indicate pronunciation. Thus in the Russian word "этого" the fourth letter is <g>, but in that particular word is pronounced /v/. A transliteration would be "etogo", but a transcription would be "etovo".

    On the whole transliterations only make complete sense to those who know the language being transliterated. Whether one uses a transliteration or a transcription has to depend in part on what you are writing and who you are aiming it at. Often you end up with a compromise. If you are aiming at accuracy of pronunciation it may be best to use the IPA.

    I think that for general purposes we are more or less stuck with <KH> for Russian <Х>. Roman <X> is useful for Russian <КС>. I think that Roman <C> for <Ц> is likely to lead to confusion. The simple fact is that the Russian alphabet has a few more letters than the Roman alphabet and so some digraphs are inevitable and using "spare" letters (such as <C>) for sounds they do not usually represent, though tempting, is best avoided. It also needs to be borne in mind that some Roman letters, such as <j> mean different things to different people according to their native language. Whilst <ya> is going to mean /ja/ to most people, <ja> would be read differently by a German, Englishman, Frenchman and Spaniard.
  7. Riverplatense

    Riverplatense Senior Member

    German — Austria
    So which letter would you suggest to transliterate Russian ‹ц›? How about the digraph ‹ts›? However, I don't really think ‹c› is less clear than ‹kh› for ‹x›, the more so as Slavic languages not using the Cyrillic alphabet use this letter too and ‹kh› could also be understood as an aspirated velar occlusive, like Georgian ‹ქ›. I think transliteration is generally pretty problematical (as also indicated with ‹j›, or a lot of other different pronunciations of graphemes like /r/ vs. /ʀ/ for ‹r› in Portuguese or /s/ vs. /z/ for ‹s› in a lot of languages). In the case of ‹ц› in German we have, for instance, so-called »Duden-Transliteration« (according to the Duden dictionary), which transliterates ‹ц› with ‹z›. So there can appear misunderstandings also to those who know Russian, for instance in a »lost« opposition between цариться and зариться, since ‹z›, in different transliteration systems, can stand for both the fricative and the affricate. I think it only makes sense when you know both the language and the transliteration system. And then I think it's not so important which graphemes you use, because they are basically misleading, anyhow.
  8. sumelic Senior Member

    United States of America
    English - California
    Yes, I definitely agree that it has much to do with the target language of the transliteration. Using the digraph "kh" to represent /x/ is I think a well-known convention in the English-speaking world by now (although many people will just pronounce it as /k/ or /h/), while the use of "c" to represent /ts/ is probably practically unknown to people living in English-speaking countries who have never studied a Slavic or Eastern European language. Polish even has a fairly regular spelling system, but you only have to hear all the mangled pronunciations of Polish surnames in my country, the United States, to verify that most people here don't know the least thing about Slavic orthographic conventions. So clearly a transliteration that is easy for an American will be somewhat unintuitive for a Pole, and conversely a transliteration that is simple for a Pole to read will be terribly misinterpreted by an American.
  9. Riverplatense

    Riverplatense Senior Member

    German — Austria
    Thank you for this point! Indeed, I think now that using ‹c› for /ts/ is misleading for speakers of a lot of languages. Especially before any sound except palatal vowels the pronunciation as /ts/ seems strange in a lot of contexts.

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