LINGUIST List 3.600

Tue 21 Jul 1992

Qs: Phonetics; Prescriptivism in Spanish

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  1. , Phonetics question
  2. BRETON, Prescriptive/descriptive Spanish

Message 1: Phonetics question

Date: Mon, 20 Jul 92 10:50:08 EDPhonetics question
From: <>
Subject: Phonetics question

In Hayes 1986 "Assimilation as spreading in Toba Batak" (Linguistic
Inquiry 17:467-499), he shows on pg. 479 a chart of the results of
consonant sandhi in Toba Batak. According to Hayes, geminate
voiceless stops become preglottalized (e.g. pp -> ?p), while a
sequence of nasal plus homorganic voiceless stop becomes geminate (by
virtue of the nasal consonant being denasalized), but NOT
preglottalized. (A few other consonant pairs result in geminate
consonants as well, e.g. n + voiceless stop--in this case, because
assimilation of n to the point of articulation of the following
consonant feeds denasalization.)

My question is not about Hayes' analysis, but about his data. Is
there really a phonetic difference between glottal + voiceless stop
and geminate voiceless stop? If so, is the difference detectable
acoustically, or only articulatorily? I was under the impression
that the point of articulation information of a consonant was mainly
detectable acoustically in its release (which explains why the point
of articulation of unreleased stops is nearly impossible to
distinguish by listening alone).

I might have believed that the distinction would be audible only in
slow speech, but Hayes says (pg. 480), "The four major rules [that
produce preglottalized stops and geminate stops, as well as some
other forms]... may all be suppressed in slow, careful speech, but
they apply regularly at normal speaking rates."

I'm asking the question because I worked for awhile on a language
that had SOMETHING like this--either preglottalized voiceless stops
or geminate stops--but I could never decide which I was hearing. Do
I have tin ears?

Mike Maxwell

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Message 2: Prescriptive/descriptive Spanish

Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1992 16:13 MSTPrescriptive/descriptive Spanish
Subject: Prescriptive/descriptive Spanish

Could someone give me a few examples of archaic prescriptive grammatical
principles applied to the use of spanish pronouns, things along the lines of
: "One should'nt say "it's me" but rather "it is I".
Brett Rosenberg
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