Re: interesting SIL-document

Date: Tue Feb 03 2004 - 11:43:40 EST

  • Next message: Peter Kirk: "Re: interesting SIL-document"

    Philippe Verdy scripsit:

    > Which words? "hungry", "hunger", "Hungary", "Henry" ? I don't know a
    > syllable-initial /h/ in English out of word-initial /h/... And even in that
    > case, I think this comes from contracted phonetic of fast or popular speech,
    > where there's an intermediate schwa between /h/ and /ng/ to detach the two
    > consonnantal phonemes even if the intermediate vowel is not pronounced.

    No, you miss the point altogether. The point is that [h] is only found
    in English at the beginning of a syllable (an example of it appearing in
    the middle of a word is "ahead"), whereas [ng] is only found at the end of
    a syllable. Therefore, there can be no minimal pairs contrasting them,
    and therefore no formal reason not to assign them to the same phoneme,
    dubbed "heng". Of course, this theory is absurd: a triumph of Reason
    in the service of pure madness....

    HENG WITH HOOK, on the other hand, is a real IPA character representing
    a real sound of Swedish: [U+0283] and [x] articulated at the same time.
    You can only pronounce this sound, however, if you have the appropriate
    gene, alternatively known as _swed_ or _shkh_, so other Swedes have to
    use alternative sounds.

    Where the wombat has walked,            John Cowan <>
    it will inevitably walk again.

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