quadphthongs?

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quadphthongs?

Postby DRfacepunch » 2009-10-07, 4:34

I had a thought, most languages have monophthongs and diphthongs, and some language slike english employ triphthongs. but, i havent found quadphthongs yet in natural languages, and i cant seem to make any with my mouth. does anybody know fo any quadphthongs, or have created any, or even think theyre possible
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Re: quadphthongs?

Postby linguoboy » 2009-10-07, 14:53

DRfacepunch wrote:I had a thought, most languages have monophthongs and diphthongs, and some language slike english employ triphthongs. but, i havent found quadphthongs yet in natural languages, and i cant seem to make any with my mouth. does anybody know fo any quadphthongs, or have created any, or even think theyre possible

It's hard to see how they would work. A triphthong consists of an onglide, a nucleus, and an offglide. How exactly would you fit another distinctive vowel quality in there without creating another syllabic nucleus? Still, no less an expert than John Wells has recorded what he claims are tetraphthongs, but even he considers them "vanishingly rare".

Of course, these vowel qualities are only convenient abstractions anyway. A diphthong consists not only of the two endpoints but also of the transition between them--an infinite range of phones if one is willing to examine them minutely enough. What's challenging is discerning two endpoints and two transitional values that are all so distinctive that it's worth recording every one of them.
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Re: quadphthongs?

Postby Imbecilica » 2009-11-01, 5:42

Do they even exist? I wonder if any language has something like 'shkr'
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Re: quadphthongs?

Postby Tyri » 2009-11-01, 6:35

Isn't 'shkr' a triphthong? Although in Russian I think there are quadphthongs... I might be wrong.
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Re: quadphthongs?

Postby hashi » 2009-11-01, 12:21

Tyri wrote:Isn't 'shkr' a triphthong? Although in Russian I think there are quadphthongs... I might be wrong.


As far as I know it is as "sh" is really one sound. In Russian that would look like шкр which is only three letters :P It's down to the number of sounds, not letters.

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Re: quadphthongs?

Postby ILuvEire » 2009-11-01, 19:45

What about stpr? It's not that hard to pronounce, you could have it in a language with syllabic consonants. Or what about the intra- prefix in english? Most Americans pronounce it as /ɪntʃɹə], I see four consonants. xD
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Re: quadphthongs?

Postby voron » 2009-11-01, 20:09

ILuvEire wrote:What about stpr?

You have things like that even in English if you consider word boundaries: lost preposition.

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Re: quadphthongs?

Postby DRfacepunch » 2009-11-02, 1:26

ILuvEire wrote:What about stpr? It's not that hard to pronounce, you could have it in a language with syllabic consonants. Or what about the intra- prefix in english? Most Americans pronounce it as /ɪntʃɹə], I see four consonants. xD


i think this is 4 consonents split over 2 syllables. /ɪn.tʃɹə/ .
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Re: quadphthongs?

Postby Serafín » 2009-11-02, 4:42

Imbecilica wrote:Do they even exist? I wonder if any language has something like 'shkr'

...But... that's... a consonant cluster...!

And English is well known for things like:

those strengths strange to me
ðoʊz stɹɛŋ(k)θs stɹændʒ tə mi

People what are you talking about? :para: Haven't you ever heard of Salishan languages???

Anyway, the concept of "syllable" with consonant clusters is very blurry.

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Re: quadphthongs?

Postby Imbecilica » 2009-11-02, 16:23

Is [uɨə̯ɪ̯] possible?
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Re: quadphthongs?

Postby lumiel » 2009-11-05, 9:15

Finnish is a very "vowely" language so we have words like

hääyöaie / riiuuyöaie

ouoin (dialectal superlative singular nominative or plural instructive of outo)

aioin (1st person singular imperfect of aikoa)

Or are you talking about consonants here?
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Re: quadphthongs?

Postby linguoboy » 2009-11-06, 21:57

lumiel wrote:Finnish is a very "vowely" language so we have words like

hääyöaie / riiuuyöaie

ouoin (dialectal superlative singular nominative or plural instructive of outo)

aioin (1st person singular imperfect of aikoa)

Or are you talking about consonants here?

More to the point, we are talking about multiple vowel qualities within a single syllable, not a single sequence. At least, that's what a "tetraphthong" is according to the standard definition. (Although phthongos etymologically means "sounds" the convention is to use this element only in reference to vowels as opposed to sundry speech sounds.)
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