LINGUIST List 7.1154

Thu Aug 15 1996

Qs: Nasal vowels, Differential substitution, Apostrophes

Editor for this issue: Ann Dizdar <dizdartam2000.tamu.edu>


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Directory

  1. robert boivin, Borrowing nasal vowels
  2. Allison Mary Teasdale, Qs: Phonetics of differential substitution of fricatives
  3. Jonathan Swift, Apostrophe s plurals

Message 1: Borrowing nasal vowels

Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 15:51:35 EDT
From: robert boivin <r26670er.uqam.ca>
Subject: Borrowing nasal vowels


Borrowing nasal vowels:

I am currently working on what happens to nasal vowels when words that
contain them are borrowed by languages that lack nasal vowels. For
instance, English, which lacks nasal vowels, has borrowed many words
from French that have nasal vowels in the source language,
e.g. restaurant, detente ... In all French nasal vowels the source of
the nasality is local. That is, underlyingly the nasality belongs
either to a following consonant (restoraNt, detaNt, etc.), for some
authors, or to the vowel itself, which is underlying nasal for other
authors. Under both analyses, the nasality is local: underlyingly its
source is next to the vowel or in the vowel itself. I am looking for
cases of borrowings where the nasality is not local. These would be
cases where phonetic nasal vowels are underlyingly oral and are formed
by nasal harmony: the source of the nasality would not be adjacent to
the surface nasal vowel. My interest is in determining what happens to
such derived, non-local, nasal vowels when words that contain them are
borrowed by languages that lack nasal vowels. European languages
don't have non-local nasal vowels, so they are probably irrelevant. On
the other hand South American languages often have nasal harmonies.
Does anyone know of studies showing that words with non-local nasal
vowels in these languages were borrowed by languages without nasal
vowels, e.g. Spanish? I would be grateful for information based on
this or any other language family. As I am not a regular Linguist
List subscriber, I would appreciate that answers be sent directly to
me at: Prunet.jean-francoisuqam.ca or, as this is joint work in
progress, to Carole Paradis at: CAROLPARVM1.ULAVAL.CA

Thank you for your collaboration.


Jean-Francois Prunet
Prunet.jean-francoisuqam.ca
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Message 2: Qs: Phonetics of differential substitution of fricatives

Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 15:44:05 MDT
From: Allison Mary Teasdale <amteasdaacs.ucalgary.ca>
Subject: Qs: Phonetics of differential substitution of fricatives

I am interested in differential substitution phenomena, specifically,
the substitution of some sound for the English voiced and voiceless
interdental fricatives (th) by non-native speakers of English. I have
considered existing phonological explanations and am now pursuing a
phonetic explanation. I recently wrote a paper hypothesizing that a
language that has a dental /s/ will substitute it for voiceless "th"
while a language that has an /s/ that is articulated further back (and
a dental/t/) will substitute /t/ for voiceless "th". I looked at
European French (France), Quebec French, Russian, and Japanese. I did
an acoustic analysis of /s/ in each of these languages in order to see
whether the /s/ was dental or not, taking into consideration the
cut-off of the noise as well as the intensity.

I would be happy to hear from people who have looked at this
phenomenon from a phonetic perspective or who have worked on the
acoustics of fricatives.

If there are enough responses, I will post a summary.

With thanks,

A. Teasdale
<amteasdaacs.ucalgary.ca>
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Message 3: Apostrophe s plurals

Date: Thu, 15 Aug 1996 14:22:25 BST
From: Jonathan Swift <jonsais.co.uk>
Subject: Apostrophe s plurals

This is becoming more and more prevalent in the UK. My local pub lists
"pizza's" on the lunchtime menu, but further down in the same menu it
lists "specialities of the house". I don't think the "'s" has anything
to do with the foreign nature of the word "pizza" but is based on the
fact that UK English users these days seem to be unsure of "'s" as a
plural sign.

Is there a drift going on towards "'s" as a plural signifier in English?
Jonathan Swift
Sales Executive
Abbey Information Systems
1 Paper Mews
330 High Street
Dorking
RH4 2TU

Tel:	01306 745 600
Fax:	01306 745 602
Mobile:	0468 667 483
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