Help with Pronunciation Symbols

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Gooplusplus
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Help with Pronunciation Symbols

Postby Gooplusplus » 2015-09-24, 15:38

I am completing a new web page that compares English and Spanish pronunciations of American states that have names derived from Spanish.

http://www.gooplusplus.com/american-states-english-vs-spanish-pronunciation/

Since I do not speak Spanish, I have tried to get pronunciation symbols for state names from various reference sites.

I have not been able to find pronunciation symbols for the Spanish (Mexican) pronunciation of Texas and Colorado. I am also a bit uncertain about the symbols in some of the other states when speaking Spanish.

Who can correct any pronunciation symbols used in the web link above?

Thanks.

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linguoboy
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Re: Help with Pronunciation Symbols

Postby linguoboy » 2015-09-24, 17:04

Gooplusplus wrote:Who can correct any pronunciation symbols used in the web link above?

As far as I know, all Spanish varieties distinguish /ɲ/ from /nj/, i.e. California /kaliˈfoɾnja/ vs montaña /monˈtaɲa/.

I also wasn't clear if you're giving the Spanish pronunciations of the state names or of the Spanish words they're derived from. Montana may be derived from Spanish montaña, but the current name in Spanish as well as English is Montana, pronounced [mo̞nˈtana].
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Re: Help with Pronunciation Symbols

Postby Tonic » 2015-09-24, 17:40

Not sure what phonetic transcription system are you using there, but in spanish Texas would be transcribed /'texas/, the /x/ represents the phoneme fricativo velar as in jamón, paja, gentileza, etc. That said, I have heard some people pronouncing it à la english, /teksas/

I must also agree with what linguoboy has pointed out.
Please correct my mistakes.

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Re: Help with Pronunciation Symbols

Postby Gooplusplus » 2015-09-24, 21:55

linguoboy wrote:I also wasn't clear if you're giving the Spanish pronunciations of the state names or of the Spanish words they're derived from. Montana may be derived from Spanish montaña, but the current name in Spanish as well as English is Montana, pronounced [mo̞nˈtana].


Thanks for your feedback.

Female audio was taken from Google translate results.

Male audio was from pons.com which had both Mexican and European Spanish audio samples. Unfortunately, unlike the other states included, pons.com did not have audio for Montana, just montaña. I decided to update the male audio to use a forvo.com Montana pronunciation even if this is European Spanish and not Mexican Spanish.

Does the Spanish pronunciation of Colorado have emphasis on both first and third syllables or just the third?

To my ear, the Spanish A sounds in Nevada are different from the Spanish A sound in the 2nd syllable of Texas. To be somewhat consistent with the symbols used on the web page, how should this difference be displayed?

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Re: Help with Pronunciation Symbols

Postby linguoboy » 2015-09-25, 16:21

Gooplusplus wrote:Does the Spanish pronunciation of Colorado have emphasis on both first and third syllables or just the third?

Only the third. It might sound like there's secondary stress on the first since the unstressed vowels aren't reduced as they are in English.

Gooplusplus wrote:To my ear, the Spanish A sounds in Nevada are different from the Spanish A sound in the 2nd syllable of Texas. To be somewhat consistent with the symbols used on the web page, how should this difference be displayed?

I'm not sure what difference it is you're hearing. In many varieties of Spanish, the vowels have more open variants in closed syllables. I know that sounds contradictory, but I'm using linguistic terminology here. A "closed syllable" is one that ends in a consonant. Texas ends in a closed syllable:

/ˈte.xas/

Whereas in Nevada, all the syllables are open:

/ne.ˈba.da/

So the two a's in Nevada may be pronounced differently than the a in Texas--namely, a bit closer to the American English [æ] in ass or brass. But Spanish [a] is already pretty close to AE [æ] so the difference is tiny; I doubt most American English speakers would even notice it, so I wouldn't bother trying to transcribe it.
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Re: Help with Pronunciation Symbols

Postby loqu » 2015-09-25, 23:09

Can't speak about Mexican pronunciation, but to me, [a] in Texas, Colorado and Nevada sound exactly the same.

I'm not aware that our /a/ has allophones. (Well, in some dialects they exist, but I doubt it's the case in Standard Mexican).
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