LINGUIST List 5.836

Thu 21 Jul 1994

Qs: Linguists, Uzbek phonology, [tT] affricates, Code-switching

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  1. Richard Hudson UCL, Linguists vs normals
  2. "STEVE SEEGMILLER", Query: Uzbek Phonology
  3. Daniel Radzinski, [tT] affricates
  4. Stuart Watts, Code-switching and timing.

Message 1: Linguists vs normals

Date: Wed, 20 Jul 94 20:04:21 +0Linguists vs normals
From: Richard Hudson UCL <>
Subject: Linguists vs normals

Does anyone know of any published work on differences (or similarities)
between judgements made by linguists and by non-linguists. Labov has a
footnote in Sociolinguistic Patterns (p. 199) in which he mentions
unpublished work by N. Spencer which shows non-linguistic graduate
students and non-students (i.e. normals) lining up against linguistics
graduate students. Was it published? Has any further work been done
along these lines? Reply to me please; if there's any quantity of response
I'll summarise it.

Dick Hudson
Dept of Phonetics and Linguistics,
University College London,
Gower Street,
London WC1E 6BT
(071) 387 7050 ext 3152
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Message 2: Query: Uzbek Phonology

Date: 20 Jul 94 19:43:00 EST
Subject: Query: Uzbek Phonology

This query is being posted to three separate lists. My apologies
to anyone who receives it more than once.

Standard descriptions of Uzbek phonology (e.g. Kononov's) present
a very confusing picture. The claim is made that the vowels u",
o", and i" have merged phonologically (but not phonetically) with
u, o, and i; in other words, back [u] and front [u"] are now
allophonic variants of a single phoneme /u/, [o] and [o"] of /o/,
and so forth. Associated with this phonological restructuring
are two other changes: the loss of vowel harmony, and the
assumption by the consonants of the task of distinguishing
between [u] and [u"], [o] and [o"], [i] and [i"].

All of this works pretty well with vowels adjacent to back
consonants (i.e. dorso-palatal, velar, and uvular), where
separate phonemes /k/ vs. /q/, etc., can be reasonably motivated.
But it fails miserably in words containing no back consonants.
So, for example, Kononov cites words like [u"zu"m] 'grape,'
[su"pu"rgi] 'broom,, and [bo"ri] 'wolf',' all of which contain
the front allophones of /u/, /o/, and /i/ with nothing in the
phonetic environment to account for their occurrence. Bernard
Comrie also noted such cases (in Languages of the Soviet Union)
and described them as classic cases of the violation of the
biuniqueness principle.

My question is this: has anyone looked at Uzbek phonology in an
attempt to resolve the obvious contradictions in the traditional
account? I would be most grateful for any references,
suggestions, or insights that anyone may be able to provide.

Thanks in advance.

Steve Seegmiller
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Message 3: [tT] affricates

Date: Thu, 21 Jul 1994 15:45:27 [tT] affricates
From: Daniel Radzinski <>
Subject: [tT] affricates

Hebrew, German and Italian have the stop [t], the fricative [s] and the
affricate [ts]. Greek has all of these and also the fricative [T] (i.e.
'theta'), but it does not have an affricate [tT]. (English, Castillian and
Arabic have [t], [s] and [T], but neither [ts] nor [tT]). Does anyone know of
languages having a [tT] affricate? More generally, [pT], [tT], [kT], etc.
affricates? (To clarify, by affricates I mean real affricates that pass tests
of single-segmenthood, not accidental adjacencies such as [p] [T] in the
English word "depth".) If there is such a language, does it distinguish between
such affricates and [ps], [ts], [ks], respectively?

Daniel Radzinski
Tovna Translation Machines
Jerusalem, Israel
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Message 4: Code-switching and timing.

Date: Thu, 21 Jul 1994 14:58:12 Code-switching and timing.
From: Stuart Watts <>
Subject: Code-switching and timing.

This is, in my opinion, an unusual but interesting question posed by a
student of mine:

Let's assume that, more or less, English is a stressed-timed language
(i.e. the time between stressed syllables is quite similar). In theory
you could end up with some sentences where difficulties might arrise in
keeping the times roughly equal because, say, between two stressed
syllables there are three other syllables, and between the next two
stressed syllables there are eight (the choice of numbers is purely
random). A student suggested to me that, maybe, a trigger for
code-switching (specifically, from English to German and vice versa) is a
strategy to keep the number of
syllables between stressed syllables roughly equal - in terms of the most
desirable number of syllables a word is chosen from one language and not
the other.

Anyone know of/done any research on this? What do people think of it as
a possible idea?

Stu Watts.
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