--- In phoNet@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Wordingham"
<richard.wordingham@n...> wrote:
> Can someone shed some light on what is being discussed below?

Well, I'll give it a shot.

> The parties involved are a Swede called Meadish, a Scot called
> Oleeber and a New Yorker called Bina. The full discussion is at
> http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=16028 , but I
> think I have captured all the relevant parts here.
> The basic source for the Meadish's contribution is claimed to be:
> An Introduction to Language, Sixth Edition, Harcourt Brace. Authors:
> Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman. ISBN: 0-03-018682 .

A standard introductory linguistics textbook, in fact the one used in
the ling 101 course I took. It leaves much to be desired.

> <Start discussion>
> Meadish: "A 'stop' is a sound which is stopped completely in the
> oral cavity for a brief period. The final sounds in the words top,
> dude, dune, root, rack, rag, rang are stops."
> Oleeber: "I'm having problems with this, Meadish.
> I understand "top, root, rack and rag" because the mouth must change
> before the next word can be formed (I think) but with "dune and
> rang" there is a rolling feel to the end of these words and it
> doesn't feel like a "stop" to me."

This is really the only important part of the discussion, I think,
because after this it gets sidelined into a discussion of dialect
differences etc. in an attempt to explain this observation. I think
this is actually a common problem, and one that isn't addressed very
often in linguistics classes and textbooks: the definition of "stop"
is somewhat counterintuitive, because it includes nasal as well as
oral stops. This means that nasals are classified as stops, when
anyone can tell that the airstream does _not_, in fact, stop when one
pronounces them, but is merely diverted to the nasal cavity (hence the
"rolling feel"). To the casual observer, unfamiliar with linguistic
terminology, it is readily apparent that oral stops are "stopped", but
it takes a careful examination of the definition and the manner of
articulation of nasals to see that they can also be classified as
stops. It is singularly unhelpful when textbooks simply list them all
as examples of stops rather than explaining that they are different
kinds of stops, but like I said, this is a singularly unhelpful textbook.

Hope this answers the question.

Jedediah Drolet