Glottal Fantasy (was: Apostrophes)

From: Richard Wordingham (
Date: Sat Nov 19 2005 - 12:58:26 CST

  • Next message: David Starner: "Re: ISO 15924: Different Arabic scripts?"

    Dr.James Austin wrote:

    > Kenneth Whistler has two points we must agree with, really.
    > (1) whereas there are the expressions like 'glottal stop' , 'glottal
    > sound',
    > there really is no such speech sound. A speech sound must be either a
    > vocoid
    > (go by a vowel letter), or a contoid (go by a consonant letter) For a
    > sound
    > element to be qualified as a speech sound it must be 'combinable' with
    > other
    > sounds-vowels and consonants, and, occur in the beginning, middle and end
    > of
    > (some) words.For a consonant to be, a certain point of tongue must
    > approximate/contact a certain point on the roof of the mouth.Where does
    > the
    > glottis sit? It is inaccessible to the tongue.
    > 'Glottal speech sound' is a misnomer, and represents a phantasy.

    I believe /h/, /p/ and /b/, /f/ and /v/ are also consonants, but the tongue
    is not involved in their production. The production of 'th' of English
    'think' does not involve any part of the roof of the mouth.

    If the glottal stop is a phantasy, it is a common enough one that in this
    context it must be treated as reality. Actually, I think the explosion of
    the glottal stop may be distinctly audible.

    > Can you 'utter' an apostrophe independantly? Or combined with just any one
    > of the vowels?

    Aleph/alif is the prototypical glottal stop letter. Glottal stop is common
    enough as a final consonant in Estuarine English, inni'? Glottal stop
    occurs initially, intervocally and finally in Thai - I can't vouch for final
    position in Arabic.


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat Nov 19 2005 - 12:59:51 CST