Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Apr 20 17:00:56 UTC 2008

I am now unclear on the difference between rOs@
and rowz at .  Damian wrote he did not mean by the
latter "_row_ 'loud noise'", which is how I had
read it.  I would pronounce Rosa as "row" of "row
your boat", as I think is the English-American
way.  Which of the two symbolozations is that?

I don't know many American Sophias either, but I
wouldn't say s at fi:@] or [s at fai@ -- definitely so-fee- at .


At 4/20/2008 12:14 PM, Damien Hall wrote:
>Yesterday, Joel Berson and I wrote about my niece Rosa María:
> >> My eldest niece (6, a Londoner born of a Londoner mother and an Ecuadorian
> >> father) is Rosa María /rOs@ m at ri:@/.  To
> mark her Hispanic heritage she has a
> >> Hispanic name complete with an acute accent over the <í>, and so of course
> >> the pronunciation of the second element of her name is the Hispanic one.
> >> Brits may omit the acute accent in her name,
> and they may be confused about
> >> how to pronounce the first part of it ([rowz@] is frequent),
> > I like this pronunciation.  Apt for an energetic, boisterous child.
>The pronunciation I meant was not one with _row_ 'loud noise' at the beginning
>(though no-one would say that wasn't appropriate for RM;  far from it!).  I
>meant that people pronounce her name as if it was an English one, in the way
>that you'd pronounce _Rosa_ in English (like _rose_ with a schwa at the end).
>This is, of course, quite a natural thing to do, seeing as Rosa María is in
>fact English and doesn't live in a
>Spanish-speaking country!  But the fact that
>even people who know her well and have heard her
>name pronounced in the Spanish
>way (which is how her family pronounces it) hundreds of times, still pronounce
>it in the English-language way, is testament to the strength of one's own
>impressions / grammar over repeated attestations of alternative ones.
> >> I don't know too many British Sophias, but my impression is that the
> >> pronunciation of that name is variable between [s at fi:@] and [s at fai@],
> >> depending on the individual case.
> > Not so-fee-uh or so-fie-uh?  (In my phonetic alphabet)
>No, I think that's a genuine dialectal
>difference.  That is, I have never heard
>a British Sophia's name pronounced with a (secondary-)stressed first syllable,
>so that it had a diphthong and sounded like the word _so_. In my experience of
>the name (which I stress again is limited, Sophia not being that common),
>whatever the pronunciation of the middle
>syllable, the first and last syllables
>have always been unstressed and so contained schwas.
>I don't have much to add to Randy's interesting post about diphthongs in the
>IPA, except the following.  I have never thought much about the quality of the
>offglide, but it is of course clear to me that
>the quality of the nucleus of my
>diphthongs probably does differ at least across the Atlantic.  For example, I
>think that I myself (?and most Brits) have [Ej] in that diphthong (abstracting
>away from the offglide), whereas ?most Americans
>have [ej].  And of course they
>may not have an offglide at all, if they're from the North (WI etc).
>But I think there would be some people who'd be very interested in this
>discussion on the Phonetics list:
>Randy, are you a member of that?  If not, do you
>want to become one in order to
>post this discussion there?  If not, may I cross-post it?  Contact me off-list
>if you'd like me to.  If I do and if there are responses, I'll post a summary
>Damien Hall
>University of Pennsylvania
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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