LINGUIST List 11.1618

Tue Jul 25 2000

Qs: American Eng Dipthongs, Englishes/Micronesia

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Directory

  1. Jorge Guitart, Questions about the psychology of American English diphthongs
  2. D J Britain, Englishes of Micronesia

Message 1: Questions about the psychology of American English diphthongs

Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 11:47:07 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jorge Guitart <guitartacsu.buffalo.edu>
Subject: Questions about the psychology of American English diphthongs

Native speakers of AE perceive the vocoid material in the words fay, fie,
foe and foul as constituting a single segment, i.e., the first three words
have two sounds: an initial f and another sound, while foul has three
sounds: an initial f, a final l, and another sound in the middle.
In contrast, the vocoid material in the word few is perceived as
being two sounds, and so the word has three sounds. And the word
twin is perceived as having four sounds because the vocoid material is
perceived as a sequence of two sounds. 

Is this all arbitrary or is there some principle to it? All those words
supposedly contain diphthongs. The diphthongs beginning with nonhigh
vowels are perceived as one sound and those beginning with a high vowel
are perceived as two sounds. (Cf. Spanish where dipthongs are perceived as
two sounds regardless of how they begin or end.) 

On the other hand there are sequences of high vocoid + nonhigh vocoid
that are hiatuses, as in Fiona, fiasco, fiesta and phooey. 

But both hiatuses and dipthongs constitute transitions. 
In Fay, the transition itself is heard as a single sound; in
few it is heard as two sounds but a single syllable; in fiasco, it is
heard as two sounds in two syllables.

Is there a physical difference between a hiatus and a diphthong or is it
all in your head?

Jorge Guitart
SUNY Buffalo
 
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Message 2: Englishes of Micronesia

Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 16:53:42 +0100 (GMT Daylight Time)
From: D J Britain <dbritainessex.ac.uk>
Subject: Englishes of Micronesia

Does anyone know of any research on the Englishes of Micronesia
 (Guam, Saipan, Palau, the FSM, the Northern Marianas etc)? 

I've searched, but so far in vain.

 Cheers

 Dave
 dbritainessex.ac.uk

 Dr. David Britain
 Department of Language and Linguistics
 University of Essex
 Wivenhoe Park
 COLCHESTER
 Great Britain CO4 3SQ

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