Re: [tied] Re: Retroflexes in Sanskrit

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 14266
Date: 2002-08-07

 
----- Original Message -----
From: richardwordingham
To: cybalist@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2002 11:38 AM
Subject: [tied] Re: Retroflexes in Sanskrit

> I, and I suspect also Piotr, did not consciously know this pronunciation.  Perhaps, though, it's why 'sizzure' felt so natural to me.
 
The tensing and lengthening of "i" before "ng" (so that "sing" becomes "seeng" or even [s├ŽIN] in casual pronunciation) is normal in the drawling accents of the American South. They also have "aig" for "egg" and often "maisure" for "measure".

> Piotr has analysed the medial distribution of /Z/ in terms of phonetics.  I think it's purely historical, with no synchronic tendencies.  After all, there are plenty of words where /Z/ follows tense /i/, e.g. 'vision'.  However, in a word like 'incisure' (if it
truly exists - I had to do a dictionary search to find an example!) the vowel is realised as /ai/.  It's largely spelling that determines the medial distribution of /Z/.
 
The vowel of "vision" is actually defined as _lax_ (phonetically short). The terms "lax" and "tense" are somewhat controversial in phonetics. Yeah, on second thoughts, intervocalic /Z/ may follow any short _front_ vowel (vision, measure, casual), this being probably the only environment where /Z/ and /N/ might conceivably contrast in the standard accents.
 
Piotr