Miscellaneous language questions

For the discussion of language mechanics, grammar, vocabulary, trends, and other such linguistic topics, in english and other languages.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby flicky1991 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:34 am UTC

ThirdParty wrote:ö, as in "Gödel". I'd alphabetize it as though it were "oe", not as though it were just an "o" with a diacritical mark.
I believe the standard dictionary method of alphabetising disagrees with you.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:37 am UTC

Plenty of languages treat characters with diacritics as separate letters: Spanish has ñ, Danish & Norwegian have å & æ, and Swedish & Finnish both have ä ö & å, etc.

Claiming diacritics aren't separate letters is pretty Anglocentric.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Liri » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:38 pm UTC

'If it doesn't make a sound on its own, it's not a letter' is a solid definition to start from, which kicks out the apostrophe, hyphen, and diacritics (in English).

It's much more arguable to add the 'TH', 'CH', 'SH' as separate letters.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:10 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:Plenty of languages treat characters with diacritics as separate letters: Spanish has ñ, Danish & Norwegian have å & æ, and Swedish & Finnish both have ä ö & å, etc.

Claiming diacritics aren't separate letters is pretty Anglocentric.

To be clear, I was responding to Third Party, who said that the number of letters in the English alphabet was arguable. So I was specifically taking about English.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:45 pm UTC

For alphabetization, I'd say it shouldn't be necessary to actual be able to speak the language in order to look something up. Maybe have some basic understanding of the structure, but I'd say anyone who can read and write the language, but not speak and listen to it, should be 100% set to use alphabetization.

For English, this would include not having any special rules about diphthongs or silent letters.
For letters with native dialectics, the modifications should be lexically distinct, but adjacent. (I'd guess this is actually how it's done, but I don't have a paper foreign dictionary handy to check.)
For letters with foreign dialectics (English "résumé", "jalapeño", "forté", or "Blue Öyster Cult"), ignore it because this is open ended.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:42 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:Plenty of languages treat characters with diacritics as separate letters: Spanish has ñ, Danish & Norwegian have å & æ, and Swedish & Finnish both have ä ö & å, etc.

Claiming diacritics aren't separate letters is pretty Anglocentric.

To be clear, I was responding to Third Party, who said that the number of letters in the English alphabet was arguable. So I was specifically taking about English.


Ah, sorry. In the context of English specifically that's all 100% valid.

Liri wrote:
'If it doesn't make a sound on its own, it's not a letter' is a solid definition to start from, which kicks out the apostrophe, hyphen, and diacritics (in English).

It's much more arguable to add the 'TH', 'CH', 'SH' as separate letters.


Yeah, Welsh's logic (whereby ch, dd, ff, ng, ll, ph, rh, and th are all considered individual letters rather than digraphs) would definitely include "th", "ch", and "sh" as individual letters.

Personally, counting digraphs as individual letters doesn't seem very sensible; I'd also rather include diacritics as their own part of the alphabet than letter+diacritic combos (particularly if, like the use of ̈ in Swedish/Finnish/Hungarian/etc. the same diacritic is used with multiple other letters with predictable effects) but, well, that's unlikely to catch on anywhere
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Liri » Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:29 pm UTC

"Welsh's logic" funny joke

But yeah, I think having a minimum number of letters is a plus. From early frustrations learning French, adding in diacritics reads to me as just giving you more stuff to get wrong, even if it's more precise. Whether you count è as e + ` or as a letter in its own right is a pretty academic difference (coming from a native English speaker, obviously).
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby ThirdParty » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:42 pm UTC

Liri wrote:'If it doesn't make a sound on its own, it's not a letter' is a solid definition to start from, which kicks out the apostrophe, hyphen, and diacritics (in English).
I think that a case could be made that the hyphen at least sometimes represents a /ʔ/ sound, most obviously in the word "uh-oh".

As for the diacritics: I'm not claiming that the tilde in the words "jalapeño", "piña colada", etc., might be a letter; I'm claiming that the eñe might be a letter.
  • It's considered an official letter in the language the words were borrowed from.
  • Analyzing it as "letter en with a tilde diacritic" doesn't really make sense, since tilde doesn't cause any other letters to palatalize.
  • I checked several online dictionaries. All agreed that "jalapeño" is a word in the English language, pronounced /haləpenjo/. Most did not list "jalapeno" or /haləpeno/ as acceptable alternatives; the most notable one that did list it as an alternative (Mirriam-Webster) mentioned that it was "less common".
Ditto for the letter "ç". I'm not claiming that the descender might a letter, I'm claiming that the entire glyph might be a letter. It didn't even evolve from the letter cee; it evolved from a zeta. It only took on its present "c with a comma under it" appearance when they were trying to find a way to typeset it without adding an extra key to the typewriter keyboard.
Eebster the Great wrote:It would be foolish to claim there was no difference between the 26 recognized letters of the English alphabet and the glyphs you listed. There is not one of the 26 letters that could be excluded by any reasonable, educated person, yet all of the ones you mentioned are tenuous and exceptional in multiple ways.
I agree that when English speakers are taught the English alphabet in school, they are taught to memorize the list of 26 letters. The list is then reinforced by the design of English keyboards.

What I'm trying to argue, though, is that the list is somewhat arbitrary. It's a social convention, not a fact about English. Sure, the argument that "ñ" is an English letter is weaker than the argument that "q" is an English letter. But the argument that "q" is an English letter is likewise weaker than the argument that "i" is an English letter. ("q" makes the same sound as "c"; its own name is spelled with a "c" and not a "q"; it's very rare, appearing mostly in loanwords; and with the exception of very recent loanwords it only appears in the context of trigraphs of the form "q"-"u"-vowel.) We may teach people that some things are totally letters and other things are totally not letters, but the reality is that there's a continuum.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:58 pm UTC

ThirdParty wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:It would be foolish to claim there was no difference between the 26 recognized letters of the English alphabet and the glyphs you listed. There is not one of the 26 letters that could be excluded by any reasonable, educated person, yet all of the ones you mentioned are tenuous and exceptional in multiple ways.
I agree that when English speakers are taught the English alphabet in school, they are taught to memorize the list of 26 letters. The list is then reinforced by the design of English keyboards.

What I'm trying to argue, though, is that the list is somewhat arbitrary. It's a social convention, not a fact about English. Sure, the argument that "ñ" is an English letter is weaker than the argument that "q" is an English letter. But the argument that "q" is an English letter is likewise weaker than the argument that "i" is an English letter. ("q" makes the same sound as "c"; its own name is spelled with a "c" and not a "q"; it's very rare, appearing mostly in loanwords; and with the exception of very recent loanwords it only appears in the context of trigraphs of the form "q"-"u"-vowel.) We may teach people that some things are totally letters and other things are totally not letters, but the reality is that there's a continuum.

It's really not arbitrary, and that comparison is pretty suspect. The letter "Q" has been in the English language as long as the language has existed and was in Middle English and even Old English before that. Its glyph cannot be produced by the combination of any other letters, and its pronunciation is no less distinctive than "k". It is featured both in ancient words and in modern coinages. None of these apply to any of the other examples you have offered.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby ThirdParty » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:19 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:The letter "Q" has been in the English language as long as the language has existed and was in Middle English and even Old English before that. Its glyph cannot be produced by the combination of any other letters, and its pronunciation is no less distinctive than "k". It is featured both in ancient words and in modern coinages. None of these apply to any of the other examples you have offered.
It's true that "Q" has a distinct history from "C". "Q" evolved from qoppa while "C" evolved from gamma. (But as I mentioned above, "Ç" also has a distinct history, having evolved from zeta. Its glyph's resemblance to a "C" with a comma attached to it started out as a coincidence and then got reinforced by typesetters.)

As for pronunciation, though, "Q" makes the exact same sound as "C" does: compare "quizzing" and "cuisine". (In contrast, compare "soupçon" with "sheepcote": unlike "Q", "Ç" cannot be replaced by "C" without changing the pronunciation of the clusters in which it appears.)

In contexts that call for a double "Q", we replace the first one with a "C": for example, "acquire". (Admittedly, the same thing happens to "K", which is a letter in good standing, but it's still somewhat suggestive of interchangeability.)

And its very name is "cue". (The only other official English letter that doesn't appear in its own name is double-u, which also has a somewhat dubious standing.)

So I feel like the case for drawing the line between "letters" and "not letters" in a spot that allows "Q" but excludes "Ç", as opposed to drawing in a spot that includes both or excludes both, is a weak one. Sure, the line can be drawn there, and was in fact drawn there by our culture, but it didn't have to have been drawn there given the way the language is actually used. Declaring that English has 26 letters in it is kind of like declaring that a rainbow has 7 colors in it; it's a convention, nothing more.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:27 am UTC

ThirdParty wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:The letter "Q" has been in the English language as long as the language has existed and was in Middle English and even Old English before that. Its glyph cannot be produced by the combination of any other letters, and its pronunciation is no less distinctive than "k". It is featured both in ancient words and in modern coinages. None of these apply to any of the other examples you have offered.
It's true that "Q" has a distinct history from "C". "Q" evolved from qoppa while "C" evolved from gamma. (But as I mentioned above, "Ç" also has a distinct history, having evolved from zeta. Its glyph's resemblance to a "C" with a comma attached to it started out as a coincidence and then got reinforced by typesetters.)

But Ç is almost unheard-of in English, existing exclusively in French loanwords, and even then nearly always spelled with a c instead.

As for pronunciation, though, "Q" makes the exact same sound as "C" does: compare "quizzing" and "cuisine". (In contrast, compare "soupçon" with "sheepcote": unlike "Q", "Ç" cannot be replaced by "C" without changing the pronunciation of the clusters in which it appears.)

As I said, it is just as distinctive as "K".

And its very name is "cue". (The only other official English letter that doesn't appear in its own name is double-u, which also has a somewhat dubious standing.)

I don't think that the way we spell letters, on the rare occasion that we do, has any bearing on whether or not they are indeed letters. In French, the letter Y is called "i grec," yet it is used constantly in the language.

So I feel like the case for drawing the line between "letters" and "not letters" in a spot that allows "Q" but excludes "Ç", as opposed to drawing in a spot that includes both or excludes both, is a weak one. Sure, the line can be drawn there, and was in fact drawn there by our culture, but it didn't have to have been drawn there given the way the language is actually used. Declaring that English has 26 letters in it is kind of like declaring that a rainbow has 7 colors in it; it's a convention, nothing more.

You seem to be missing the rather obvious point that Ç practically does not exist in English, while there are thousands of words with Q. This argument would be far more convincing for French than for English. Again, I have a hard time accepting that you really believe the only reason we draw the line here is arbitrary convention and not something like five orders of magnitude of usage frequency.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Grop » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:36 am UTC

In my view, even in French c and ç are two variants of the same letter. I think it is quite obvious with inflected verbs, such as décevoir => déçu. The c remains a c, but we add a cedilla in order to make the pronunciation explicit.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Aiwendil » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:58 pm UTC

jaap wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:Non-English 26ers include Dutch (Ij directly replacing Y, it seems, a detail to which I would clearly defer to any Dutch forumite who cared to comment)


I'm Dutch, so let me wade in here about the Dutch "IJ".

It represents a vowel sound, one of the many diphthongs spoken Dutch has.
It is normally typed and typeset as two letters, and when in a sorted alphabetised list like a dictionary it is also treated as two letters.

However if it is capitalised, at the start of sentence for example, then both letters are capitals, i.e. "IJsbreker" and not "Ijsbreker".
It is also considered a single letter when spelling a word out loud, or when doing crosswords or other word puzzles.

In word-searches and other letter-based puzzles it is sometimes typeset as Y, though strictly speaking that is incorrect. The actual letter Y (called i-grec) is rarely used in Dutch, except in relatively recent loan words or words with Greek roots.


I know very little about Dutch, but in looking at a lot of old church records from Friesland (but in Dutch, not Frisian), I've seen 'y' an 'ij' used interchangeably in many names. For instance, 'Wybren' alongside 'Wijbren'.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby jaap » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:53 am UTC

Aiwendil wrote:
jaap wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:Non-English 26ers include Dutch (Ij directly replacing Y, it seems, a detail to which I would clearly defer to any Dutch forumite who cared to comment)


I'm Dutch, so let me wade in here about the Dutch "IJ".

It represents a vowel sound, one of the many diphthongs spoken Dutch has.
It is normally typed and typeset as two letters, and when in a sorted alphabetised list like a dictionary it is also treated as two letters.

However if it is capitalised, at the start of sentence for example, then both letters are capitals, i.e. "IJsbreker" and not "Ijsbreker".
It is also considered a single letter when spelling a word out loud, or when doing crosswords or other word puzzles.

In word-searches and other letter-based puzzles it is sometimes typeset as Y, though strictly speaking that is incorrect. The actual letter Y (called i-grec) is rarely used in Dutch, except in relatively recent loan words or words with Greek roots.


I know very little about Dutch, but in looking at a lot of old church records from Friesland (but in Dutch, not Frisian), I've seen 'y' an 'ij' used interchangeably in many names. For instance, 'Wybren' alongside 'Wijbren'.


I was only referring to modern day Dutch. As with English it took a while for Dutch spelling to become standardised, but even more so with names.
I think Wibren/Wybren/Wijbren is a variation of Wijbrand, which in turn is a variation of Sibrand/Siebrand/Sijbrand. The problem with this name is that it is old, uncommon, and its meaning is opaque, so I reckon that it would often be spelled phonetically, so with "i", "ie", or "y" interchangeably.

Maybe at some point the y spelling had dots added because as I wrote before the letter y is not used much normally. In cursive handwriting the ij is essentially identical to y apart from the dots, and it is very hard to resist the urge to automatically add them.

Nowadays if names like this have the ij spelling their pronunciation has often changed to match the spelling.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Liri » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:55 pm UTC

jaap wrote:Maybe at some point the y spelling had dots added because as I wrote before the letter y is not used much normally. In cursive handwriting the ij is essentially identical to y apart from the dots, and it is very hard to resist the urge to automatically add them.

That is really interesting. Is this a legit thing, that a quirk of writing ended up dictating/influencing a letter sound?
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby jaap » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:59 pm UTC

Liri wrote:
jaap wrote:Maybe at some point the y spelling had dots added because as I wrote before the letter y is not used much normally. In cursive handwriting the ij is essentially identical to y apart from the dots, and it is very hard to resist the urge to automatically add them.

That is really interesting. Is this a legit thing, that a quirk of writing ended up dictating/influencing a letter sound?


I hope it is clear that this was pure speculation on my part, and I could well be wrong. I've just done some more reading, and apparently in the Middle Ages the dots on i's and j's were often omitted, so maybe that was still the case in the church records that Aiwendil was talking about. It also seems that the ij wasn't pronounced the same in all dialects, and that in some it was phonetically similar to i/ie/y which would add to the spelling confusion in those records.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby eSOANEM » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:59 pm UTC

Apparently the usual hypothesis is that it was originally <ii> representing /i:/ and that the second i later acquired a swash (compare the fact that lots of European languages did that with Roman numerals e.g. they went i, ij, iij, etc.). Certainly the spelling rijk would be consistent with that (Old Dutch has ī as the vowel, in common with Old High German rīhhi, Old Norse ríki and Old English Rīce).

Apparently West Frisian has ryk here (with Old Frisian having rīke) so I suspect what happened here is that the West Frisian (and possibly other Frisian languages) represent Old Frisian /i:/ with <y> and that Dutch just copied the spelling across. Also, apparently Afrikaans usually has <y> for Dutch <ij> suggesting that the distinction is fairly recent (and so place names spellings could easily reflect a local norm that persisted after standard Dutch started distinguishing <ij> from <y>).
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby pogrmman » Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:15 pm UTC

Does anybody know why some word-initial "h"s are silent (in English). Like "hour" and "heir". I presume it comes from French influence. The only reason I'm asking is because I recently heard somebody say "an historic", while pronouncing the "h" in historic. That doesn't make sense to me (a"an" followed by a consonant sound), but I've heard people say historic without the "h" (in which case using "an" makes sense). Are there other words in which English speakers differ on the pronunciation of word-initial "h"?

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Deva » Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:39 pm UTC

Herb.
Changes its form depending on the observer.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:25 pm UTC

Yeah, herb (and words beginning "herb") lack an h in American English, but have it in British English.

British English also has all sorts of sociolectal variation going on with h's. Some words lack an h in both very posh and very working class speech, but not in the middle, some lack the h in one end but not the other (and vice versa for both of those). As far as I can tell, there's not really much rhyme or reason (beyond the general trend of romance vocabulary being more likely to lack an h) because an awful lot of it seems to have been deliberately adopted as shibboleths.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:08 pm UTC

I had a response typed up, but Merriam-Webster's description is just better. It essentially has to do with the accent on the second syllable and the changing pronunciation of words in RP.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Liri » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:05 pm UTC

I flip flop between herb and 'erb depending on context.

"An historic" I see pretty often (in writing) and it irks me every time.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:21 pm UTC

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-dropping has a lot of useful stuff that I (mostly) would not disagree with. The section on H-adding (for 'ypercorrection 'has hwell has' effecting an aitch in words spelt-but-not-pronounced with one) is interesting.

"An historic" is Ok with me, because I'm an /ann 'istoric/, -ish, person, not an /ain haestoric/ one. But if it's conveyed as a Hyacinth Bucket (pron. "Bouquet"!) voice, then it's conveying its own story.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:33 pm UTC

derivatives of "history" (but not "history" itself) are weird for me. I usually use "an" with it, but I definitely don't fully drop the h, it's like I aspirate the n of an instead or something. So I'll say "an (h)istorian at a hotel said that this was an (h)istoric occasion" with that kinda weird half-h.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby ThirdParty » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:23 am UTC

If I recall, I had a high school biology teacher who would say "an human" even though she pronounced "human" as starting with a /j/ rather than a vowel.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby pogrmman » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:50 pm UTC

Thanks for the info -- it's pretty interesting.
I definitely am on the more typical American side pronouncing "h" in more words than not.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:03 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:"An historic" is Ok with me, because I'm an /ann 'istoric/, -ish, person, not an /ain haestoric/ one.

I don't think anyone says /ain haestoric/. Can you explain what you mean?

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:15 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:"An historic" is Ok with me, because I'm an /ann 'istoric/, -ish, person, not an /ain haestoric/ one.

I don't think anyone says /ain haestoric/. Can you explain what you mean?

Affected accent. Strained vowel on "an" and "hist", particularly, a vowel-shift which may or may not last 'til through the "oric" part. Think (though not exclusively) of a Morningside landlady putting on 'airs with a "more refined than you" attitude whilst looking down her nose upon the (un)fortunate tourists staying at her guesthouse for the week.

(Actually, just about any locale of UK guesthouse, of this nature, the Morecambe madam or the Llandudno lady or the Dawlish duchess would have their own not too dissimilar 'public voice', only vectoring off into her natural localised accent when not concentrating or especially whilst berating her husband or son in the back-rooms for some failing on their part to maintain the 'clars' of the establishment in some manner, or (if you prefer a televisual characterisation) Edie Pegdon in Last Of The Summer Wine (when not slipping into broad and coarse local towards husband Wesley, of course, or with 'friends' in the Coffee Mornings) is probably more like this than even "that Bucket woman".)

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:17 pm UTC

I still think you might be using the IPA incorrectly. You mean the first syllable would rhyme with "fast"?

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:06 pm UTC

Sorry, that wasn't even supposed to be IPA, it was me being too lazy to use italics tags, I think, given how I often have to edit it from [u] to [i] when I try to use the buttons above on this touch-screen, and the rigmorole to get a square-bracket on the onscreen keyboard I use. Thus using the easier /italics/, _underline_ and *bold* method of good old 7-bit plain-text times.

(I have no idea how I'd pronounce any of what I wrote if it was.actually IPA wot I writ. My brain can't work out what I thus inadvertantly notated, with the sequential vowels. But haestoric starts as per "haste", or at least close enough to my own version of it.)

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:00 am UTC

OK, that makes more sense. I saw the slashes and my mind immediately went to IPA broad transcription.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:09 pm UTC

ThirdParty wrote:What I'm trying to argue, though, is that the list is somewhat arbitrary. It's a social convention, not a fact about English.
But everything about English, including all the "facts about English", is a social convention, because that's how the language works.

We may teach people that some things are totally letters and other things are totally not letters, but the reality is that there's a continuum.
There's also a continuum between words that are English and words that are not English, but that doesn't mean it's completely arbitrary to include "hello" in an English dictionary but exclude "안녕하세요".

And all your arguments from pronunciation are much weaker than you seem to think, given that homographs are a thing even when you ignore all the words that are sometimes written with characters other than the usual 26.

If tear/tear, row/row, bow/bow, record/record, Celtic/Celtic, agape/agape, bass/bass, entrance/entrance, and hundreds of others can be pronounced differently despite being spelled the same, then so can "resume" and "resume".
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Liri » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:05 pm UTC

Til the other meaning of agape
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby ThirdParty » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:41 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:There's also a continuum between words that are English and words that are not English, but that doesn't mean it's completely arbitrary to include "hello" in an English dictionary but exclude "안녕하세요".
Sure. But I think that if somebody says "English has exactly 171,476 words in it" or "English and Russian have the same number of words in them", the existence of the continuum should make us skeptical.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:16 am UTC

As Eebster the Great pointed out, the usage gap between the least common of the 26 letters and the most common of any of the additional candidates you've suggested is several orders of magnitude. There is no such gap near any proposed boundary of what counts as an English word.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Aiwendil » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:33 pm UTC

How do people pronounce "Wikia"? I've always stressed the first syllable, but the hosts of one of the podcasts I listen to consistently stress the second, and I don't know that I've ever heard the word said aloud outside of this.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby chridd » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:03 am UTC

/ˈwɪ.ki.ə/ (first syllable stressed). I don't think I've heard the word said out loud either.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Derek » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:45 pm UTC

Can anyone identify the accent of the guy in this video who made the mercury bell?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mJEsj3N50o

It's sounds to me like an upperclass British accent but also very much not RP.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby HES » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:08 pm UTC

That is not British. It's American to my ear but is probably a weird mix as:
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:55 pm UTC

Are we talking about Dr Andrea Sella? Almost all of his accent sounds decidedly American to me although his "half" vowel is a bit weird and closer to South African. I'm struggling to hear anything that is British but not also American.
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