Random language thread 5

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby IpseDixit » 2017-07-07, 9:06

mōdgethanc wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:Right, for a moment I forgot that <ch> can be [t͡ʃ] in English too.
That's the default pronunciation of it.


Yeah I know, but for some reason I was mainly thinking about words which have <ch> pronounced as [ʃ], which reminds me of how much I hate this part of English spelling, that's to say the fact that <ch> can be [t͡ʃ], [ʃ] or [k], and what's frustrating is that it would be so easy to simplify it by changing <ch> into <k> when it's [k] and <sh> when it's [ʃ].

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Saim » 2017-07-07, 10:19

IpseDixit wrote:
mōdgethanc wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:Right, for a moment I forgot that <ch> can be [t͡ʃ] in English too.
That's the default pronunciation of it.


Yeah I know, but for some reason I was mainly thinking about words which have <ch> pronounced as [ʃ], which reminds me of how much I hate this part of English spelling, that's to say the fact that <ch> can be [t͡ʃ], [ʃ] or [k], and what's frustrating is that it would be so easy to simplify it by changing <ch> into <k> when it's [k] and <sh> when it's [ʃ].


But then we would lose lovely confusions like bru[ʃ]etta and ma[k]ismo! :lol:

Speaking of [t͡ʃ], why do we spell "Czech" according to Polish spelling conventions?

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Car » 2017-07-07, 11:16

linguoboy wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:I wonder how exactly we ended up pronouncing "Chicago" [t͡ʃi'kago] in Italian. I mean, it follows neither English pronunciation (which has [ʃ] instead of [t͡ʃ]) nor Italian spelling rules, otherwise it would be pronounced [ki'kago]. I wonder if people thought the city name had Spanish origins.

I think they were simply following the normal rules of English orthography under which ch is [t͡ʃ].

IME, German-speakers pronounce it the same way as Italians (i.e. as if Tschikago).

Yep, it's [a:] though (to be picky).
Please correct my mistakes!

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-07-07, 13:47

Saim wrote:Speaking of [t͡ʃ], why do we spell "Czech" according to Polish spelling conventions?

Because it doesn't require a diacritic? :P

More seriously, isn't it pretty common in English (and perhaps other European languages) to designate an ethnicity using one of their neighbors' exonyms for them? At least it seems that way judging from North America...And "German" apparently might have originally come from a Gaulish term for 'neighbor' or 'noisy'. :lol: French gitan was apparently borrowed from Spanish gitano.

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby linguoboy » 2017-07-07, 14:41

Car wrote:
linguoboy wrote:IME, German-speakers pronounce it the same way as Italians (i.e. as if Tschikago).

Yep, it's [a:] though (to be picky).

For those Northerners who still distinguish /a/ and /aː/ (to be even more picky).
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Michael » 2017-07-07, 19:04

vijayjohn wrote:"German" apparently might have originally come from a Gaulish term for 'neighbor' or 'noisy'. :lol:

The Albanian word zhurmë meaning "noise, ruckus", along with its derivative adjective i zhurmsh/ëm, e -me "noisy, boisterous", is of unknown etymology at present. Perhaps it's connected?
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-07-07, 19:19

Michael wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:"German" apparently might have originally come from a Gaulish term for 'neighbor' or 'noisy'. :lol:

The Albanian word zhurmë meaning "noise, ruckus", along with its derivative adjective i zhurmsh/ëm, e -me "noisy, boisterous", is of unknown etymology at present. Perhaps it's connected?

Nah, German comes from a word that had a hard [g]. How would that be borrowed as [ʒ]? (Unless of course it wasn't and it gradually changed to [ʒ] within Albanian itself through some kind of complicated set of sound changes like *g > d͡ʒ > ʒ).

I think the Slavic etymology proposed on Wiktionary is more plausible than they make it out to be. Intrusive R for example is a thing as is changing a voiceless obstruent to a voiced one before a vowel. I will admit that I don't know how common it is for [ʃ] to be borrowed as [ʒ], but it doesn't seem that far-fetched to me.

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Car » 2017-07-07, 19:24

linguoboy wrote:
Car wrote:
linguoboy wrote:IME, German-speakers pronounce it the same way as Italians (i.e. as if Tschikago).

Yep, it's [a:] though (to be picky).

For those Northerners who still distinguish /a/ and /aː/ (to be even more picky).

Should I have used // there? I originally did, but then changed it.
Please correct my mistakes!

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-07-07, 19:47

Car wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Car wrote:
linguoboy wrote:IME, German-speakers pronounce it the same way as Italians (i.e. as if Tschikago).

Yep, it's [a:] though (to be picky).

For those Northerners who still distinguish /a/ and /aː/ (to be even more picky).

Should I have used // there? I originally did, but then changed it.

In this case, I think either one would be fine. I think linguoboy was making the point that some Northerners have them as different phonemes (hence the slashes) whereas other German-speakers don't.

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby linguoboy » 2017-07-07, 20:47

vijayjohn wrote:
Car wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Car wrote:
linguoboy wrote:IME, German-speakers pronounce it the same way as Italians (i.e. as if Tschikago).

Yep, it's [a:] though (to be picky).

For those Northerners who still distinguish /a/ and /aː/ (to be even more picky).

Should I have used // there? I originally did, but then changed it.

In this case, I think either one would be fine. I think linguoboy was making the point that some Northerners have them as different phonemes (hence the slashes) whereas other German-speakers don't.

I was making two points:
1. There is a tendency in contemporary German to merge /a/ and /aː/. I've noticed it more among North Germans, but that isn't to say it's universal there nor that the merger isn't present elsewhere in the German Sprachraum.
2. The phonetic realisation of /aː/ varies. Even in some Northern varieties it may realised as [ɑː] (or even [ɒː]), and a back realisation predominates in the South (and is considered standard in Austria).
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-07-07, 21:20

Just now, I was reading out a selection of proverbs in Malayalam to my dad because we wanted to look up a few words in the dictionary and it has proverbs in the back. A lot of these proverbs are just as mysterious to him as they are to me. The last one I read out to him says, "In Wayanad, there isn't any buttermilk for free, and there isn't any for sale, either."

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Car » 2017-07-07, 21:56

linguoboy wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
Car wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Car wrote:Yep, it's [a:] though (to be picky).

For those Northerners who still distinguish /a/ and /aː/ (to be even more picky).

Should I have used // there? I originally did, but then changed it.

In this case, I think either one would be fine. I think linguoboy was making the point that some Northerners have them as different phonemes (hence the slashes) whereas other German-speakers don't.

I was making two points:
1. There is a tendency in contemporary German to merge /a/ and /aː/. I've noticed it more among North Germans, but that isn't to say it's universal there nor that the merger isn't present elsewhere in the German Sprachraum.

Any examples of that?
Please correct my mistakes!

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Dormouse559 » 2017-07-07, 22:14

vijayjohn wrote:
Michael wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:"German" apparently might have originally come from a Gaulish term for 'neighbor' or 'noisy'. :lol:

The Albanian word zhurmë meaning "noise, ruckus", along with its derivative adjective i zhurmsh/ëm, e -me "noisy, boisterous", is of unknown etymology at present. Perhaps it's connected?

Nah, German comes from a word that had a hard [g]. How would that be borrowed as [ʒ]? (Unless of course it wasn't and it gradually changed to [ʒ] within Albanian itself through some kind of complicated set of sound changes like *g > d͡ʒ > ʒ).
I don't know anything about Albanian sound changes, but *g > d͡ʒ > ʒ isn't all that out there. It's exactly what happened in French. Twice.
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby linguoboy » 2017-07-07, 22:20

Car wrote:Any examples of that?

I first became aware of it when a Saxon I met who was living in Berlin wrote down his address for me as "Sallestrasse".

It's in the literature. Richard Wiese described in his Phonology of German back in 1996 (which is coincidentally right about when I became aware of it myself).
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-07-07, 22:29

Dormouse559 wrote:I don't know anything about Albanian sound changes, but *g > d͡ʒ > ʒ isn't all that out there. It's exactly what happened in French. Twice.

I didn't mean to suggest it was out there, only that it's not a very simple sound change because it requires an intermediate step. My point, though, was simply that it could have plausibly happened within Albanian but is harder for me to see happening before it entered Albanian.

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Vlürch » 2017-07-07, 23:45

Dormouse559 wrote:
Vlürch wrote:So, is there any correct way to express exactly what "can have told" expresses using the idiom "can tell"?
With the present: "as far as I can tell". The alternatives "as far as I can remember" or "as far as I'm aware" might emphasize more how you're relying on your recollections/pre-existing understanding.

But then, couldn't "as far as I could have told" be used as well with the implication that it's referring to having been able to tell at the time but not being certain anymore now that it's questioned? Like, "the sky was blue as far as I could have told" = "I could've sworn the sky was blue, but I can't really tell if it really was"?
vijayjohn wrote:
Vlürch wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:Right, for a moment I forgot that <ch> can be [t͡ʃ] in English too.

Imagine the homophones if it wasn't... chit-chat and shit-shat, etc. :D

My brother and I had the same French teacher in high school (but in different years). One of my brother's former classmates was IMing him one day back in the days when AIM was a thing, and she ended the conversation by apologizing for the fact that they didn't have more time "to shit-shat, as [this French teacher] would say."

:lol:
vijayjohn wrote:
wat

How the fuck is /z/ only pronounced [t͡ʃ]?

Could be the fact that /t/ is almost universally realised as [t̪] while /s/ varies between [s~s̠], for some people even [s̻~ʃ~ɕ] in some contexts, making [t͡s] harder to pronounce than [t͡ʃ]. I guess in words like "Zimbabwe" or "Nazi" (the latter often being spelled "natsi"), it might be [t͡ɕ] or something rather than [t͡ʃ], but the point is that it's not dental or alveolar as /t͡s/ would suggest. Like I said, if the realisation of /s/ wasn't detailed, it would make sense, but when it's mentioned that there's no distinction between /s/ and /ʃ/ and the pronunciation of <z> in loanwords is discussed, it's weird to ignore the fact that <z> is more commonly pronounced closer to [t͡ʃ] than [t͡s].

It could well be that it's just a Helsinki thing... maybe, but less likely, even just an eastern Helsinki thing, but I doubt that's the case because Helsinki isn't a big city by European standards and AFAIK even much larger cities around the world don't have random differences in pronunciation like that. Then again, I've never been to any other country (or even anywhere in Finland except for Helsinki, Savonranta and some of the surrounding area, once in Tampere for like half a day and once in Hanko for just a few hours), and I'm only going by what I've read online, seen on TV and movies, etc.
vijayjohn wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:Chinese uses <ë>?

Really? I've never seen that. :o

No, I'm asking you. I thought maybe you were saying both Albanian and Chinese use <ë>. You really just meant that Albanian uses it, though, right?

Yeah, that's what I meant. I was confused for a second, but tbh wouldn't have been all that surprised if it turned out that there was some obscure transliteration scheme where it was used. :P
vijayjohn wrote:
Doesn't seem worse than what for example German and French cities go through in Japanese

It is definitely worse because those are just Japanese phonology being applied to those cities whereas in the case I was talking about, it has nothing to do with Malayalam phonology. I have never, ever heard any Malayalees pronounce those city names anything like that. It's more like people taking the concept of spelling pronunciations and then running away with it.

Weird. Do you have any idea why those transliterations were chosen?
Naava wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
wat

How the fuck is /z/ only pronounced [t͡ʃ]?

When is it even pronounced [t͡ʃ]? I'm quite sure I've never heard anyone pronouncing it like that.

But... it's the most common pronunciation ever, or at least that's how pretty much everyone I've ever known has pronounced it and I'm sure some newsreaders and whatnot have, because hearing [t͡s] always strikes me as a weird pronunciation. :o

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Dormouse559 » 2017-07-07, 23:58

Vlürch wrote:But then, couldn't "as far as I could have told" be used as well with the implication that it's referring to having been able to tell at the time but not being certain anymore now that it's questioned? Like, "the sky was blue as far as I could have told" = "I could've sworn the sky was blue, but I can't really tell if it really was"?
No. But I did misunderstand what you wanted express. Try this on for size: "as far I could tell at the time".
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-07-08, 0:29

You could also say "as far as I was aware" or maybe "as far as I knew."
Vlürch wrote:AFAIK even much larger cities around the world don't have random differences in pronunciation like that.

They do. Here's an anecdote I remember from a seminar I once took on historical linguistics, focusing on Germanic historical linguistics because almost all the other students were in the Germanic Studies department (I'll admit up front that I don't remember what happened exactly, so I'm probably remembering some of the details wrong):

One of them was a native speaker of German from southwestern Germany, near Stuttgart. One day, the professor was talking about how Germans view some accents (within Germany) of (Standard) German as more prestigious than others. So then he asked this student to turn around and not look while he wrote on the blackboard:

Saxony
Berlin
Bavaria

Then next to that, to the left of that list, he wrote:

Hamburg/Hannover

After that, he asked her (while she still had her back to the blackboard), "Which German accent is the best?" and she said, "Hannover." Then he asked her, "Which ones are the worst?" and she said, "Bavaria...oh, and there's always Saxony." Finally, he let her turn around but asked her, "What about Berlin?" She said, "Well, in Berlin, it depends." She explained that there are different varieties of German spoken within Berlin, and each has a different level of prestige. There's the kind of German spoken in the relatively wealthy parts of Berlin, and that's more prestigious, but then there's another kind spoken in the poorer, working-class areas of Berlin, and that's the one that's less prestigious.
Weird. Do you have any idea why those transliterations were chosen?

We assume their English must have really sucked.

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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby Meera » 2017-07-08, 4:40

I have noticed now that Arabic is starting to come into my English. I'm starting to add "the" to things that normally wouldn't have had it before. For example today my eye doctor asked me what I was studying and I said "the Arabic." :lol: I also realized that I am forming idafa's in English, like the other day I said "the family of my father."
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Re: Random language thread 5

Postby mōdgethanc » 2017-07-08, 5:46

IpseDixit wrote:Yeah I know, but for some reason I was mainly thinking about words which have <ch> pronounced as [ʃ], which reminds me of how much I hate this part of English spelling, that's to say the fact that <ch> can be [t͡ʃ], [ʃ] or [k], and what's frustrating is that it would be so easy to simplify it by changing <ch> into <k> when it's [k] and <sh> when it's [ʃ].
No, we need to show off how educated and refined we are by all being fluent in Ancient Greek and Middle French. /s
Saim wrote:But then we would lose lovely confusions like bru[ʃ]etta and ma[k]ismo! :lol:
You mean Brüeschädder, that German delicacy with Brädt and Tomähdo?
Speaking of [t͡ʃ], why do we spell "Czech" according to Polish spelling conventions?
Maybe it was borrowed before Czech got all those funny hats.


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