Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 19 19:22:42 UTC 2008

Thanks, dInIs. We needed that.

m a m

On Feb 19, 2008 12:55 PM, Dennis Preston <preston at msu.edu> wrote:

> Looks like lots of impressionistic stuff in this /I/ - /i/
> discussion, and I have no doubt that there is a great deal of
> regional variation, but the introduction of a nasal segment after a
> vowel plays hell with production and, more importantly here,
> perception, and I trust an acoustic analysis better. Let me show you
> the acoustic results of a few minutes age (me, male, 68, EA,
> Louisville, KY).
> First, here are the Peterson and Barney values for males:
> [i] (high front tense)  F1=390  F2=1990
> [I] (high front lax)    F1=270  F2=2290
> It's clear that [I] is lower and backer than [i].
> Now me saying "sin" and "seen":
> sin     F1=400  F2=1900
> seen    F1=300  F2=2350
> I appear to be pretty normal (kibitzers beware!), although the nasals
> have no doubt had some influence on these figures; the question is,
> however, about the character of [I] before [ng]:
> Me again saying "sing":
> sing    F1=480  F2=1850
> In fact, my vowel (whatever it is) before /ng/ is even a little lower
> and backer than my [I] before [n].
> I believe formant characteristics introduced by the following velar
> nasal may be causing some hearers to report that [I] = [i] before
> [ng], but that does not appear the be the acoustic case.
> I ignore here the phonological question. For me, /ng/ neutralizes the
> /i/~/I/ opposition. That is, I have no minimal pairs of /i/-=/I/
> before /ng/, but that is other territory (as is the complex history
> of English /ng/).
> Of course, other acoustic facts could come into play here (glide,
> glide length, etc...), but they did not appear to be distinctive in
> my quick and dirty study of myself.
> dInIs

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