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Summary Details


Query:   Icelandic Phonology
Author:  Antony Dubach Green
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Phonology

Summary:   I WOULD LIKE TO THANK EVERYONE WHO RESPONDED TO MY QUESTION ON ICELANDIC
PHONOLOGY, AND POST A SUMMARY OF THE RESPONSES I GOT.

THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE PROVIDED ME WITH ANSWERS TO MY QUESTIONS:
BIRNA ARNBJORNSDOTTIR
ISTVAN BERNATH
HARALDUR BERNHARDSSON
JAKOB DEMPSEY
LANCE ECCLES
THORSTEINN G. INDRIDASON
NICHOLAS JONES
WOLFGANG KEHREIN
MAGNUS PETURSSON VIA JANINA SCHULDT

THE QUESTIONS AND THEIR SUMMARIZED ANSWERS ARE THESE:
>(1) AM I CORRECT IN ASSUMING THAT THE ORTHOGRAPHIC CONTRASTIS
>WORD-INITIALLY ONE OF ASPIRATION RATHER THAN VOICING? I.E. IN 'DAY'
>REPRESENTS A VOICELESS UNASPIRATED STOP; WHILE IN 'TO SPEAK' A
>VOICELESS ASPIRATED STOP.

EVERYONE AGREES THIS IS TRUE.

>(2) AM I CORRECT IN ASSUMING THAT INTERVOCALIC IS ACTUALLY UNASPIRATED?
>E.G. IN A WORD LIKE 'STREET', THE REPRESENTS THE SAME SOUND AS IS
>FOUND AT THE BEGINNING OF , NOT THE SAME AS IS FOUND AT THE BEGINNING OF
>.

THIS IS TRUE FOR THE SOUTHERN DIALECT. IN THE NORTHERN DIALECT, THE OF
IS ASPIRATED.

>(3) ARE THERE ANY WORDS IN ICELANDIC WITH INTERVOCALIC ORTHOGRAPHIC (NOT
>COUNTING MORPHEME-INITIAL D AFTER A PREFIX OR IN A COMPOUND)? A QUICK GLANCE
>THROUGH AN ICELANDIC DICTIONARY REVEALS LOTS OF (EDH) IN THIS POSITION,
>BUT I COULDN'T FIND ANY . IF DOES OCCUR IN THIS POSITION, HOW IS IT
>PRONOUNCED? DOES IT MERGE WITH THE OF ?

SINGLE INTERVOCALIC IN ICELANDIC SEEMS TO BE FOUND ONLY IN LOANWORDS,
E.G. LADA (A RUSSIAN MAKE OF CAR), PY/RAMI/DI 'PYRAMID' [/ INDICATES ACUTE
ACCENT OVER PRECEDING VOWEL], RADAR 'RADAR', RADI/US 'RADIUS', ETC. IT IS
PRONOUNCED AS AN UNASPIRATED VOICELESS STOP, AND THUS MERGES WITH THE OF
IN THE SOUTHERN DIALECT.

>(4) I HAVE FOUND A WORD-INTERNAL ORTHOGRAPHIC CONTRAST IN THE CONTEXT
>L_R: 'NOTABLE' VS. 'TO HANG'. IS THERE STILL A PHONETIC
>DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE D AND THE T? IF SO, WHAT IS IT?

IN THE SOUTHERN DIALECT, THERE IS NO PHONETIC DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE D AND
THE T IN THESE WORDS; HOWEVER THE L IN IS VOICED WHILE THE L IN
IS DEVOICED. I ALSO NEED TO CORRECT A GLOSS: MEANS 'TO
LIMP', NOT 'TO HANG'. THE BOOK I GOT THIS FROM IS WRITTEN IN GERMAN AND
GLOSSES AS 'HINKEN', WHICH MEANS 'TO LIMP'. BUT I WASN'T PAYING
CLOSE ENOUGH ATTENTION, AND THOUGHT IT SAID 'HENKEN', WHICH MEANS 'TO HANG'.
IN THE NORTHERN DIALECT AGAIN, THE IS UNASPIRATED AND THE ASPIRATED.

>(5) ARE THERE ANY OTHER RELEVANT EXAMPLES, E.G. -VDR- VS. -VTR-?

NO, BUT THERE ARE INTERESTING CONTRASTS BETWEEN -VDDR- AND -VTR-:
'SATISFIED' (GEN. PL.) IS PRONOUNCED [SATRA] WITH A SHORT VOWEL, INDICATING
THAT THE INITIAL SYLLABLE IS CLOSED, ALTHOUGH THE CONSONANT IS NOT
PRONOUNCED AS A GEMINATE. MEANWHILE, 'TO TREMBLE' IS PRONOUNCED
[TI:TRA] WITH A LONG VOWEL, INDICATING THAT THE INITIAL SYLLABLE IS OPEN. A
PARALLEL CONTRAST IS FOUND BETWEEN -VGGV- AND -VKV-:

LL Issue: 9.264
Date Posted: 22-Feb-1998
Original Query: Read original query