Two Questions

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Two Questions

Postby choc_pud » Tue 29 Jul 2014 5:29 pm

Hey-ho, I have two completely unrelated questions to ask which don't seem to really fit into any of the categories, so I thought I'd put them in here as it seemed the most suited.

1) What does English sound like to a non-speaker? I think this is a particularly interesting subject.

2) What is the maximum number of sibilants a language has been found to possess in phonemic distinction? As far as I can see it might be Ubykh, though that is now extinct.

If anyone has any answers to these questions, please reply! Thanks!
Þu forstanden myccel gód Ængliscum!
Du forstår mal godt dansk!
Du verstehest sehr gut Deutsch!
Vous comprend trés bon, á la français!
Вы знат очынь хорошо па-Русский!
Folchen þeo meor goð Sursðk!
Du farstanden rijt gut Norslandich!
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Re: Two Questions

Postby Täzari » Wed 30 Jul 2014 6:08 pm

Hello there!

In answer to you question I can suggest you to watch this short video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt4Dfa4fOEY

It is a four-minute video about how English may sound to a non speaker, it's very well done and in my opinion it gives a great example!

As for the possible number of sibilants, I can only make suppositions, but as a matter of fact I'm unaware as you are about the subject, not being phonetic among my first interests... Sorry for not being helpful!

Tsak' oti hærad hvå biltægnonśi atta ujænad! - I hope the video I suggested you is helpful! =)
Ræhaktæśede enśké är hvå debbéś lit kæbbtera.

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Re: Two Questions

Postby Khunjund » Fri 01 Aug 2014 7:27 pm

I believe Ubykh is the most I've yet to see in a natural language, but I think it would be possible to distinguish many more than that. I'm pretty sure a distinction between plain, labialized, and palatalized (and/or velarized and/or pharyngealized, if you want) voiceless, voiced, aspirated, and ejective (central) fricatives along each point of articulation would be reasonably distinct enough to actually be used in a language.
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Fluent: English.
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Re: Two Questions

Postby Täzari » Wed 06 Aug 2014 12:33 pm

I get myself informed a little about Ubykh and in fact, like also Khunjund said, I have never seen a natural language with more variants for a sibilant sound. However it's not impossible that there are many more than that, as a matter of fact sibilant, fricative, but most of all, liquid consonants can have a great number of allomorphs.
Ræhaktæśede enśké är hvå debbéś lit kæbbtera.

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Re: Two Questions

Postby Quantum » Wed 06 Aug 2014 3:03 pm

Also, keep in mind, with regard to Ubykh, that it's an extinct language. The alveo-palatal and palato-alveolar sibilants were in the process of merging. Not too suggest that you shouldn't follow suite, but it doesn't seem to be a very stable contrast.
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Re: Two Questions

Postby choc_pud » Wed 06 Aug 2014 7:15 pm

Alveopalatal and palatoalveolar? Isn't that exactly the same thing? Excuse my ignorance, I've never thought that any language could make such a slight distinction before!
Þu forstanden myccel gód Ængliscum!
Du forstår mal godt dansk!
Du verstehest sehr gut Deutsch!
Vous comprend trés bon, á la français!
Вы знат очынь хорошо па-Русский!
Folchen þeo meor goð Sursðk!
Du farstanden rijt gut Norslandich!
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Re: Two Questions

Postby Khunjund » Fri 08 Aug 2014 9:12 pm

Actually, people often say palatal-alveolar instead of post-alveolar (which is the term I prefer), which is the point of articulation of English "sh". Alveolar-palatal consonants are essentially palatalized post-alveolar consonants, so these are (in theory) sufficiently different to be distinguished in a language. However, most languages with this distinction usually shift the post-alveolars to retroflex consonants, for greater contrast with the alveolar-palatals, since they are indeed very similar.
Native: français.
Fluent: English.
Learning: Deutsch, 日本語, العربية, Ἡ Ἑλληνικὴ φωνή.
Interested in: 한국어, русский, polski, Brezhoneg, 漢語, suomi, isiXhosa, Gaeilge, עברית.
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