Phonetic transcription

Jim   Friday, October 01, 2004, 06:02 GMT
I'll attempt to give a narrow phonetic transcription of how the tongue twister would come out in an Australian accent. Note, though it occurs regularly in Aussie English, I'm ignoring the flapping of the "t".

We can't use the IPA here. One option is to use an ASCII transcription like X-SAMPA but there are some IPA characters that can be typed here which aren't included in X-SAMPA. So, instead of using X-SAMPA ,I'm using my own system (which is closer to the IPA).

I'm using "š" for the voiceless palatoalveolar fricative (so "shed" is transcribed as [šed]). All other consonants in the transcription below are as they are in the IPA.

For the vowels I'm using the symbols in the chart that I've posted above. Each symbol corresponds to the IPA symbol in the corresponding position on the IPA vowel chart.

Čěx   Friday, October 01, 2004, 06:13 GMT
Ě ě Č č Š š Ž ž Ř ř
Ď Ť Ň Ľ ľ ď ť ň á ý ů
Ă ă Ĕ ĕ Ĭ ĭ Ŏ ŏ Ŭ ŭ
Ğ ğ Й Ў Ç ç Ş ş Ţ ţ
Mi5 Mick   Friday, October 01, 2004, 13:47 GMT
Mxsmanic wrote:
>> least if they are coming from languages with only monophthongs, like French<<

No, French doesn't only have monophthongs. Consider "eille","aille", "ouille" and "oeil".

aïe aïe aïe!
Mxsmanic   Friday, October 01, 2004, 17:56 GMT
French has only monophthongs. Your examples are semivowels and distinct vowels (that's what a dieresis is for).
Mi5 Mick   Friday, October 01, 2004, 23:21 GMT
In American pronunciation, "tray" sounds very close to the French "treille". Similarly, the Am. pron. of "my" sounds close to the French "maille". Does this mean, these sounds aren't diphthongs in American pronunciation?
Mi5 Mick   Friday, October 01, 2004, 23:24 GMT
How about the "oin" in the French word "foin"?

Are you speaking from a strictly technical definition? If so, I don't understand it and would appreciate elaboration or a source on the web.
Mxsmanic   Saturday, October 02, 2004, 04:19 GMT
The semivowel at the end of "treille" is an actual y-like sound, whereas in "tray" there is only a diphthong. The same is true for "maille" versus "my." They may sound similar, but they are not the same.

"Foin" contains only one vowel, and it's a nasal monophthong.

This is not just a matter of definitions but actual differences in sound.
Mi5 Mick   Saturday, October 02, 2004, 06:37 GMT
The è in "treille" glides into a y at the end, so to me this appears, superficially, as a diphthong. Otherwise, it has this gliding quality of a diphthong in common with "tray": would you agree?

From what I now understand, a glide alone isn't sufficient to produce a diphthong; the resting vowel has to be left open. So hypothetically if the è glided into a true vowel, ie. French 'i', as opposed to the semi-vowel 'y', then it would be considered a true diphthong?
Mxsmanic   Saturday, October 02, 2004, 08:54 GMT
I'm not sure how to define "true" or "false" diphthongs in any rigid sense; all I can say is that the ending sounds in "abeille" are not a diphthong, but a combination of a monophthong and a palatal approximant.
Mi5 Mick   Saturday, October 02, 2004, 10:44 GMT
Let's look at it another way: does all this suggest that there are no glides in these French words? I don't see how.

Consider the two disconnected syllables in maïs ~ "ma-iss". This kind of disconnection doesn't occur in maille ~ "maye" (there's a delicate 'e' on the end). So, the 'y' alone exhibits a gliding quality, not the 'a'.
Mi5 Mick   Sunday, October 03, 2004, 03:56 GMT
I was way off before but I didn't really understand what I diphthong was (like what makes English "ay" a diphthong?) and many of the web sources in English are blatantly wrong: (under "French diphthongs")

There were very few sources in French, but most confirm that diphthongs don't exist in French. However, I think in some regions of France these sounds are lightly diphthongised.

Is this what you use for your graphs?
Mxsmanic   Sunday, October 03, 2004, 09:15 GMT
Yes, I used SFS. It's free and it works very nicely.