Breathy voice

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Breathy voice

Postby Sobekhotep » Wed 21 Oct 2009 5:50 am

-Breathy voice, also called murmured voice, soughing, or susurration
OK, so, I'm trying to learn how to properly pronounce the breathy voiced consonants found in many Indo-Aryan languages such as Hindustani, Bengali & Marathi. The problem is, I can't hear the difference between the breathy voiced & regular voiced consonants. Wikipedia instructs me "to constrict the glottis, but separate the arytenoid cartilages that control one end. This results in the vocal cords being drawn together for voicing in the back, but separated to allow the passage of large volumes of air in the front." I don't know what the hell any of that means! :)
Does anyone here have any tips for distinguishing between breathy voice & regular voice? Particularly in the context of Indo-Aryan languages.
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Re: Breathy voice

Postby Talib » Wed 21 Oct 2009 5:41 pm

I had to figure out how to pronounce these for Hindi and I didn't find them much of a challenge.

Basically just pronounce their voiceless equivalents /pʰ tʰ ʈʰ tʃʰ kʰ/, then voice them.

Or if that doesn't work try pronouncing them as clusters with /ɦ/, ie. /bɦ dɦ ɖɦ dʒɦ gɦ/ and you should catch on quickly enough.

It helps to hear the difference if you make the aspiration stronger than it is in English.

If that doesn't help, check out this site http://www.avashy.com/hindiscripttutor.htm which has all the letters with accompanying sound clips.

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Re: Breathy voice

Postby Sobekhotep » Sat 24 Oct 2009 1:20 am

Talib wrote:I had to figure out how to pronounce these for Hindi and I didn't find them much of a challenge.

Basically just pronounce their voiceless equivalents /pʰ tʰ ʈʰ tʃʰ kʰ/, then voice them.

Or if that doesn't work try pronouncing them as clusters with /ɦ/, ie. /bɦ dɦ ɖɦ dʒɦ gɦ/ and you should catch on quickly enough.

It helps to hear the difference if you make the aspiration stronger than it is in English.

If that doesn't help, check out this site http://www.avashy.com/hindiscripttutor.htm which has all the letters with accompanying sound clips.

नमस्ते!

Thanks for the tips!
I can't really hear a difference between the breathy voiced & regular voiced consonants in natural speech but I can totally hear the difference on that site.
Anyways, I think I've learned how to pronounce them now.
I think /pʰ/ is often realized as [f] (or perhaps [ɸ]) in Hindustani, right? I think this is also the case for Bengali & Marathi.
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Re: Breathy voice

Postby Aeetlrcreejl » Sat 24 Oct 2009 1:28 am

Sobekhotep wrote:I think /pʰ/ is often realized as [f] (or perhaps [ɸ]) in Hindustani, right? I think this is also the case for Bengali & Marathi.



I can attest that this is true.
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Re: Breathy voice

Postby Talib » Sat 24 Oct 2009 1:40 am

Sobekhotep wrote:I think /pʰ/ is often realized as [f] (or perhaps [ɸ]) in Hindustani, right? I think this is also the case for Bengali & Marathi.
Yes although they are separate phonemes (/pʰ/ is written <फ>, /f/ is <फ़> with the underdot. But /f/ appears mostly in loanwords so I think the distinction might not be that strong.
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Re: Breathy voice

Postby Aeetlrcreejl » Sat 24 Oct 2009 3:04 am

Gah! I can't edit!

Anyway, it's true for Bengali. Don't know about Marathi.
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Re: Breathy voice

Postby Sobekhotep » Sun 25 Oct 2009 1:02 am

What if all the aspirate plosives became voiceless fricatives? :D
That is, if: /kʰ/ -> [x]; /tʃʰ/ -> [ʃ]; /ʈʰ/ -> [ʂ]; /t̪ʰ/ -> [θ]
That would be weird. :|
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Re: Breathy voice

Postby Talib » Sun 25 Oct 2009 1:47 am

Doesn't seem likely to me since Indo-Aryan languages already contrast several of those. Overall they are very conservative.
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Re: Breathy voice

Postby Aeetlrcreejl » Fri 06 Nov 2009 4:49 am

kʰ > x has already happened in Sylheti and Assamese.
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Re: Breathy voice

Postby Sobekhotep » Sat 07 Nov 2009 12:30 am

Aeetlrcreejl wrote:kʰ > x has already happened in Sylheti and Assamese.

Are you sure about that? According to what I read, /x/ entered Assamese as a result of lenition of the 3 Sanskrit sibilants. Furthermore, Assamese retains /kʰ/, represented by <খ>; /x/ is represented by <শ>, <ষ> or <স>.

Well, I think I might learn Sinhala, which, ironically, doesn't have breathy-voice or aspiration. :P
I really like the sound of the language, more than either Hindustani or Nepali, both of which I was also considering. I also love the unique orthography, more than Devanagari.
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