Woods wrote:According to the book, in Finnish there are “16 common diphthongs.” First of all, what the hell does the author mean by “16 common” – are there any uncommon ones in addition?
What do you think – are all of the abovementioned vowel combinations diphthongs or not?
As a general linguistic question, what determines if something is a diphthong, or just a combination of two standalone vowels?
As far as I understand it, a diphthong is a combination of vowels that do sound as one --
-- is the author wrong in his description of the language (which by the way he has been many times throughout the book)?
Your list doesn't have ey or iy.
Naava wrote:As far as I understand it, a diphthong is a combination of vowels that do sound as one
What do you mean?
I'm curious - what has he said that wasn't true? :0
For example, rae doesn't have a diphthong because this word is in the weak grade that historically had a consonant between a and e. Compare with the strong grade: rake
Woods wrote:Well, I mean that if you take the word Veikko for example, the ei sounds like ej, i.e. the whole word could as well be written as Vejkko and it’s obvious that the i is not a syllable-forming sound. Whereas the vowels in yö and tie sound like they’re part of two different syllables to me, but maybe that can be due to the fact that I haven’t heard these words pronounced properly. Next time I hear them I’ll try to listen more closely.
Offhand, it is difficult to find examples of other languages with these particular diphthongs. The particular dialect of Irish I've been learning does have [iæ̯] which is very similar to a common realisation of /ɛ/ in American English varieties with certain forms of the Northern Cities Vowel Shift (such as a broad local Chicago accent). But I'd be surprised if you'd ever heard either of those.Opening diphthongs are in standard Finnish only found in root-initial syllables like in words tietää 'to know', takapyörä 'rear wheel' (from taka- 'back, rear' + pyörä 'wheel'; the latter part is secondarily stressed) or luo 'towards'. This might make them easier to pronounce as true opening diphthongs [uo̯ ie̯ yø̯] (in some accents even [uɑ̯ iɑ̯ iæ̯ yæ̯])[a] and not as centering diphthongs [uə̯ iə̯ yə̯], which are more common in the world's languages.
Woods wrote:I have to admit that I haven’t heard the term ‘weak grade’ yet (except when studying German, I guess).
Naava wrote:I'm curious - what has he said that wasn't true? :0
Virankannos wrote:The definition of a diphthong is two adjacent vowels that belong in the same syllable
linguoboy wrote:Where did you hear the term "weak grade" when studying German?
Woods wrote:Right under the paragraph follow the examples, and the one that strikes me right away is kysely. The plural partitive, according to the book, is kyselyjä. If we break it into three syllables, we get ky-se-ly. The final vowel is still there, and the preceding syllable does not end either in a consonant or in two vowels. So here he fits something in a category where it does not belong.
If a word ends in two or more vowels, a consonant, or a relic consonant, and the strong-grade plural stem ends in two vowels, the partitive ending is -ta/-tä in the plural. Otherwise the ending is -a/-ä.
“Many nouns of three or more syllables, with a penultimate syllable ending in a short vowel, take the partitive plural ending -ta~-tä.” What is ‘many?’ Is it the most, some, half of them, or what?
(for me “tuo” definitely sounds like two syllables – I would say it sounded like one if the uo was pronounced like the Chinese wǒ for example, because then the w would be only half a sound, and with half a vowel you can’t make a syllable. But in tuo, both vowels are equally long, or aren’t they?)
On the topic of diphthongs, when suffixes are added to word stems, and the end vowel of the stem is one that usually would bind with the suffix in a diphthong, is a diphthong formed?
Naava wrote:Woah, this must be the longest post I've ever written here!
Woods wrote:I'll read it a couple more times in the following days to make sure I get the a/ta thing... It really looked terrifying at first, but now it seems not that hard after all
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