strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM
Sat Apr 19 14:51:43 UTC 2008
In the Sophia, Maria / what do pros do thread, Damian Hall said:
> No, we don't as far as I (white, 30s, Londoner) am aware, except in the stock
> phrase 'black Maria' for a police vehicle used to transport people from prison
> to court etc, which always has [m@ rai @]. And I'm not sure how many people
> would use _that_ any more, since it's losing what little transparency it still
> had: 'black Marias' are usually coloured white, and the 'Maria' part was never
> transparent (recently) anyway. The girl's name is always [m@ ri: @], and it's
> always [a: vej m@ ri: @] for the Latin prayer, etc.
I'm interested in people's thought's on IPA diphthong notation.
Here, we see [ai] and [ej], and at the other extreme we sometimes see
[aI] and [eI] and even just [e]. Probably the latter ones are more
common, but I see them as less accurate. I'm not too fond of the [j]
notation in vowels, because I see [j], [w], and [r] (used as in [rEd]
-- not the trill) as semi-plosives that feature opening movements
rather than closing movements, but I find them preferable to
diphthongs with [I] and [U] in American English.
When I see [aI] and [eI], I hear RP, but with [ai] (or with the round
a) and [ei] I hear "General American", so when people use [aI]/[eI] to
transcribe American speech, it gives me a "this is wrong" kind of
I remember reading somewhere (this was a long time ago, so I have no
idea where; if it rings a bell, please speak up) that the second
character in a diphthong shows the direction of the diphthong, and not
the destination, and that which character is used is up to personal
preference. I know that IPA is designed to be flexible, but I also
find it disconcerting that the IPA handbook doesn't give a clue on how
to transcribe or represent diphthongs.
When I teach pronunciation here, I use [ɑi], [ei] [ou] (or [o̜u] to
contrast with the ), [oi], and [æu]. I avoid using [a] because it is
used to represent vowels all along the bottom of the vowel quadrangle,
and I want to be clear which vowels are more front and which are more
back. Does anyone find this usage undesirable in any respect?
Jilin City, China
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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