ADS-L Digest - 14 Nov 2001 to 15 Nov 2001 (#2001-320)

Mark.Mandel at LHSL.COM Mark.Mandel at LHSL.COM
Mon Nov 19 17:08:54 UTC 2001

I wrote in reply to "" <translation at BILLIONBRIDGES.COM>:

>American /r/ is not particularly nasal, and I don't hear anything nasal
>about it in "foyer" or know any reason for it to be so in any American
>dialect. In phonetics and phonology, "nasal" refers to sounds in which the
>breath passes out through the nose rather than the mouth. "Nasal 'r'" could
>only be short for "nasalIZED 'r'", with partial nasal outflow. You may not
>like the sound of American vowels, which are often strongly nasalized, and
>you may not like American final /r/, and they may even have some acoustic
>characteristics in common, but nasality is unlikely to be one of them.

dInIs reacted:

Oooops! You mean the sound is conditioned by entering the nasal
passage(s), but the sound don't come out your nose. You can hold your
nose tightly shut and still produce nasal sounds.

Well, yeah, if you wanna be picky about it. I was considering normal
situations, not stuffed or held nose. Do you also qualify fricatives
according to whether or not the speaker has a mouth full of mashed

And a lot of non-linguists use "nasal" to describe the voice quality of
someone whose nose is stuffed -- i.e., with no nasal outlet at all, the
exact opposite of phonetic "nasal". That doesn't mean we should switch our
terminology around.

                  Mark A. Mandel : Senior Linguist
 Dragon Systems, a Lernout & Hauspie company : speech recognition
 320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02460, USA :

Arisia '02 -- January 18-20, 2002 -- New England's biggest sf convention

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