'Phantom' Vowels

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Creag
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'Phantom' Vowels

Unread post by Creag » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:43 am

What's the correct name for extra vowels used in pronunciation?

eg Alba, where a vowel is inserted between 'l' and 'b' when Alba is spoken.

Tapadh leibh :)



horogheallaidh
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Re: 'Phantom' Vowels

Unread post by horogheallaidh » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:33 am

Seo e dhut - Svarabhakti Vowels mar a chanas iad - sin a chiad uair a chunnaic mi am facal sgriobhte, ged a tha e air a bhith agam airson grunn bliadhnaichean.

http://www.akerbeltz.org/index.php?titl ... ping_Vowel

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Re: 'Phantom' Vowels

Unread post by Seonaidh » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:42 pm

There are those, of an English language disposition, who look on this feature of "svarabhakti vowels" (thus named after one Panini, a Sanskrit grammarian who mentioned the feature) in Gaelic etc. as something Quite Perverse, up with which the English language would never put. OK, how many vowels are there in "fathom"? or "prison"? or "prism"? Interesting factoid no. 75.3: in Old English, "fathom" was usually written "fæðm". In modern English, you only really see the svarabhakti when you come to say words ending in "sm" - and it vanishes when bits are added, e.g. - "microcosm", "cosmos", "cosmic". Or even "table" and "tabloid", but that's a bit dubious. And from "Þorketil" (Old Norse name) we get "Torcuil". I'm meandering... Can lead to spelling choices, e.g. Barbhas/Barabhas (Leòdhas).

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Re: 'Phantom' Vowels

Unread post by akerbeltz » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:38 am

In modern English, you only really see the svarabhakti when you come to say words ending in "sm"
Eh?? Not in any variety of English I'm familiar with but I guess it's possible. Some English variants (in particular Scottish English and Hiberno English) have it in words like film or world though.
Can lead to spelling choices, e.g. Barbhas/Barabhas
That's just bad habits, not a choice. The second vowel is always strong in the surviving dialects i.e. if the first vowel is /a/ then the second is /a/, if it's /o/ then the second is /o/ and so on. By actually writing the second vowel you introduce confusion because in that position the <a> could be either /a/ or /ə/. So Barbhas can *only* ever be /baravəs/ but Barabhas could be /baravəs/ or /barəvəs/ (which it isn't).

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Re: 'Phantom' Vowels

Unread post by Lughaidh » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:52 am

In modern English, you only really see the svarabhakti when you come to say words ending in "sm"

Eh?? Not in any variety of English I'm familiar with but I guess it's possible. Some English variants (in particular Scottish English and Hiberno English) have it in words like film or world though.
I guess he was talking about the words in -ism (Buddhism etc), -[ɪzəm]

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Re: 'Phantom' Vowels

Unread post by Níall Beag » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:37 pm

To add to Seonaidh's -SM example (microcosm, cosmos/cosmic), there's also terminal -GM that undergoes the same vowel insertion, but medial -GM- where the consonants are split over a syllable boundary, so insertion is not required. eg syntagm and syntagmatic. (Of course, this doesn't hold for "paradigm", but that's because the G gets slenderised and reduced to a Y-glide.)

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Re: 'Phantom' Vowels

Unread post by akerbeltz » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:56 pm

Did you know it never occurred to me that ism has a full segment schwa :?

The interesting question though is if it's genuinely a helping vowel pattern or if it's just an exceptional resolution of a cluster. What I mean is that in Gaelic, the helping vowel has a very clear pattern of liquid + formerly voiced stop (plus a few other patterns). Film and world also follow a pattern but ism > ɪzəm does not seem a pattern.

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Re: 'Phantom' Vowels

Unread post by An Gobaire » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:23 am

Don't forget Scottish english "girl"..!
Dèan buil cheart de na fhuair thu!

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Re: 'Phantom' Vowels

Unread post by AlasdairBochd » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:11 am

...and "whirl". Neither has the letter "r" at all on this side of the globe.

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Re: 'Phantom' Vowels

Unread post by Seonaidh » Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:40 pm

Yes indeedy, the R and L can form the same thing, the R only really in Scottish and Irish versions of English, but the L also in NE England. ("We went to Millom to see a film...")

Glè inntinneach mu dheidhinn "Bar[a]bhas": a rèir AB, bidh fuaimreag "svarabhakti" a' freagairt fuaimreag eile sa Ghàidhlig - cha robh mi eòlach air sin. Ach sin na thachras sa Chuimris cuideachd: ma bhios fuainreag "svarabhakti" aig an fhacal "pobl" is "pobol" a chluinnear gach turas. Le "gwddf" is "gwddw[f]", le "aml" "amal" amsaa. Agus seo seann eisimpleir far a bheil am facal air atharrachadh: is "cwrw" (leann) a th' ann a-nis ach san iolra "cyrfeydd", oir is bho "cwrf" a thàinig "cwrw" bho thus (Còrnais = "coref" no "korev"). Agus san Spàinnis "cerveza"...

Agus dè mu dheidhinn "dearbh"? Cluinnear "dearabh" gu tric - ach cuideachd "dearabha", le cudrom air an dàrna A. Dualchainnt Leòdhais tha mi a' creidsinn.

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Re: 'Phantom' Vowels

Unread post by akerbeltz » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:44 am

Agus dè mu dheidhinn "dearbh"? Cluinnear "dearabh" gu tric - ach cuideachd "dearabha", le cudrom air an dàrna A. Dualchainnt Leòdhais tha mi a' creidsinn.
I did say strong, not the same. True, in most cases and most dialects, the helping vowel is both strong AND the same but the exact details of quality vary from dialect to dialect but they are all strong (i.e. not weak /ə/). Stress though is still on the first syllable though linguists disagree if the helping vowel carries strong secondary stress or of there's something more strange going on i.e with the whole segment qualifying as a first syllable etc. As a rule of thumb, stress on the first syllable, at best equal on both.

As you rightly pointed out, with a preceding ea, the pattern is often /ɛ/ + /a/. There's a full table in Blas or you can look them up in this PDF

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Re: 'Phantom' Vowels

Unread post by GunChleoc » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:24 pm

In the bards' tradition, the helping vowel not an extra syllable makes, e.g. dearbh, gorm etc. would count as 1 syllable each.
Oileanach chànan chuthachail
Na dealbhan agam

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Re: 'Phantom' Vowels

Unread post by Seonaidh » Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:23 am

...ach cò am bàrd? Tha eisimpleirean on Chuimris far an cleachdar am fuaimreag "svarabhakti" mar lideadh eile agus far nach cleachdar mar sin e. Gu tradaiseanta, 's dòcha nach cleachdar mar sin sa Ghàidhlig e, ach dè mu dheidhinn na verse libre? bàrdachd an là a th' ann?

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Re: 'Phantom' Vowels

Unread post by akerbeltz » Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:09 am

Cross-linguistic comparisons are interesting and informative but they don't normally prove anything in a different language i.e. Welsh may or may not count the helping vowel as an extra syllable but neither means that from the language-subjective point of view Gaelic has to follow suit.

I believe GunChleoc was referring to the classical bardic tradition, not modern poetry. Stones on the head, lying in a darkened room, them guys 8-)

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Re: 'Phantom' Vowels

Unread post by GunChleoc » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:33 am

Na thuirt Akerbeltz. Chan eil mi mion-eòlach air bàrdachd, ach seo na thuirt na daoine rium a tha.
Oileanach chànan chuthachail
Na dealbhan agam

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