Showing the phonetics of liaison

Recent_Runes

Senior Member
British English ♂
I understand that liaison has the effect of producing different pronunciations for a word depending on the context. However, when the pronunciation is shown by a string of IPA symbols, it only seems to be one phonetic form at a time.

Is there any standard way of showing the alternative pronunciations in one symbol string, which could be easily stored in a computer?

I am imagining something like /le(z)/ or /si(s|z)/ for the different possible pronunciations of 'les' and 'six', for example.

This could work, but is there any standard format for this kind of information?

(I suppose this could be shown in a dictionary, but I do not know any that do show it like this.)
 
  • Elme

    Senior Member
    French
    bonjour,
    I am imagining something like /le(z)/ or /si(s|z)/ for the different possible pronunciations of 'les' and 'six', for example.
    In the way you suggest
    () offers a choice of endings,
    | separates the endings.
    A "nough" symbol is necessary, for example /-/, to mean nothing to uter.
    /le(-|z)/
    /si(s|z)/
     

    CapnPrep

    Senior Member
    AmE
    This could work, but is there any standard format for this kind of information?
    As far as I know, there is not. Dictionaries choose not to indicate these pronunciations systematically, because it clutters up the phonetic representation with information that is almost always predictable from the rest of the entry, assuming that you know the general rules for liaison.

    There are maybe 15–20 words (such as six) that do not follow the general rules, and their dictionary entries have to indicate this. But in my opinion those exceptional words should not lead you to complicate the entries of the thousands of words that participate in liaison in a completely predictable way.

    For these unexceptional words, something like /le(z)/ is probably OK. (I wouldn't bother with Elme's nought symbol — it can just be implicit.) But then for six, I would say /sis/ and /si(z)/. That is, I wouldn't try combining everything into one representation, because then the parenthesis notation becomes overloaded, and difficult to interpret.
     

    Fred_C

    Senior Member
    Français
    Actually, "6" can also be pronounced /si/, so, according to Elme, it should be /si(-|s|z)/...

    "6 mois" is pronounced /si mwa/
     

    Cilquiestsuens

    Senior Member
    French
    Actually, "6" can also be pronounced /si/, so, according to Elme, it should be /si(-|s|z)/...

    "6 mois" is pronounced /si mwa/

    Tout à fait, Fred... C'est aussi le cas pour les chiffres huit, dix... (et pour certains locuteurs, pour cinq).

    Maintenant il y a aussi un changement phonétique intéressant qui se produit lors des liaisons avec le mot neuf...

    Il reste neuf (avec un f) devant toute voyelle... (ex. Neuf enfants)

    Excepté devant... an et heures

    Neuf ans (= neuv ans) et neuf heures (= neuv heures)...

    Comment voulez-vous faire apparaître ça en notation phonétique ???

    Tout ça pour dire que noter les liaisons d'une manière scientifique est quasiment impossible et voué d'avance à l'échec....
     

    CapnPrep

    Senior Member
    AmE
    Comment voulez-vous faire apparaître ça en notation phonétique ???
    Comme ceci :

    • neuf : [nœf], mais exceptionnellement [nœv] dans neuf ans [nœvɑ̃] et neuf heures [nœvœʁ]
    Comme on le fait dans les dictionnaires. C'est sans doute un échec scientifique, mais ça me semble quand même exploitable.
     

    Cilquiestsuens

    Senior Member
    French
    Oui, bien sûr, ce que je voulais dire, c'est que vous ne pouvez pas utiliser une graphie phonétique qui résoudrait toutes les questions liées aux liaisons, qui sont un phénomène complexe suivant beaucoup de règles compliquées...

    Bref on ne peut pas se passer d(e parfois très longues) 'explications pour les expliquer ou plus simplement les décrire.
     
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