LINGUIST List 13.2077

Tue Aug 13 2002

Disc: Tense and Lax i

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <karenlinguistlist.org>


Directory

  1. Karen S. Chung, Re: 13.2076, Disc: New: Re Sum: Tense and Lax i

Message 1: Re: 13.2076, Disc: New: Re Sum: Tense and Lax i

Date: Tue, 13 Aug 2002 15:20:24 +0800
From: Karen S. Chung <karchungccms.ntu.edu.tw>
Subject: Re: 13.2076, Disc: New: Re Sum: Tense and Lax i

Re Linguist 13.2076

 Regarding the /i/ vs. /I/ discussion, it seems that there is some
confusion over whether we are talking about *phonemes* or
*allophones*. The 'i' in '-ing' as in 'going' definitely belongs to
the /I/ *phoneme* (thus the arguments about 'rhyme'), but it also
definitely has a *raised allophone* before /N/ and /g/ in both
standard US and standard British pronunciation. It is not quite up to
/i/, but it sounds closer to /i/ than to /I/ in American. There may
perhaps be somewhat less of a contrast in British English since the RP
[I] is a bit higher than in standard American, and it has no schwa
offglide, as in US English.

 And it is part of a larger pattern. /ae/ and /E/ are also both
raised before the voiced velar consonants, /N/ and /g/, though the
raising seems most pronounced before /N/. Compare _pick_ with _pig_
and _ping_; _back_ with _bag_ and _bang_; and _peck_ with _peg_ and
_strength_. I have a Web page on this for my phonetics classes at:

 http://ccms.ntu.edu.tw/~karchung/intro%20page%2015.htm

 with more examples and sound files.

 I imagine that Carol Tenny was noticing a *lack* of this
(expected, standard) allophonic raising in her students, which may be
a recent trend in some varieties of US English. Actually I heard it
occasionally even decades ago in Minnesota, and at the time, it
sounded either dialectical or rustic to my then young ears.


 Karen Steffen Chung
 National Taiwan University
 karchungccms.ntu.edu.tw

 Subscribe to Phonetics at:
 http://ccms.ntu.edu.tw/~karchung/phon1index.htm
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue