Tuesday, October 18, 2016

AL: /æ/

A bigger tranche this time, but Blogger does unhelpful things with the notes. I could probably fix this, but my time would be better spent on the book itself, so you'll have to imagine the links working. :-)

The sound /æ/ – 16%

There are two sounds here: /æl/ and /æ/. Notes indicate the much rarer /æ/.

abnormality
altimeter
calumny
hypothalamus
revalue
alabaster
alto
Calvinism
incalculable
prima ballerina
albatross
altruism
canal
infallible
salad
Albion
altruist
chalet
invaluable
salamander
album
altruistic
chalice
jalapeño
salaried
albumen
alveolar
challenge
keypal
salary
albumin
amalgam
cleft palate
low-calorie
salaryman
alchemist
amalgamate
contralto
maladjustment 13 sallow
alchemy
amalgamation
corps de ballet
malfeasance 14 salmon 23
alcohol
analogy
counterbalance 6 malapropism 15 salmonella 23
alcoholic
analysis
cruising altitude
malcontent 16 salon
alcoholism
animalcule
Dalai Lama 7 mall 17 salsa
alcopop
asphalt
Dalit
mallam
salutary
alfalfa
balaclava
dalliances
mallard
salutation
alfresco
balalaika 4 dally
malleable
salvage
algae
balance
Dalmatian
mallet
salvation
algal 1 ballad
decal
mallow
salve
algebra
ballast
evaluate
mallrat 18 salver
algebraic
ballerina
fallacy
malodorous 19 salvo
alibi
ballet
fallible
malware 20 salwar
alimony
ballot
fallopian tubes
marshmallow
shall 24
alkali 1 ballyhoo
fallow
medallion
shallow
alkaline
balustrade
fallow deer
metallic
shallows 25
alkaloid
batallion
formaldehyde
metallurgist
shalom 26
allegation
beauty salon
gal
mineralogy
shalt 27
allegory
bi-metallic strip
gallant 8 miscalculate
shilly-shally
Allen key
bivalve
gallantry
neuralgia
stalactite
alleluia
cabal
galleon
neuralgic
stalagmite
allergen
calabrese
gallery
non-alcoholic
stallion
allergenic
calamine lotion
Gallic
nostalgia
tala 28
allergy
calcify
gallivant
nostalgic
talc
alley
calcium
gallon
ophthalmic
talent
allied 2 calculable
gallop
ophthalmologist
talented
alligator
calculate
gallops
overvalue
tallow
ally
calculator
galloping
palace
talon
allocate
calculus
gallows
Palestinian
unbalanced
allomorph
Caledonian
galvanic
pallet
unchallengeable
allomorphic
calendar
galvani[s|z]e
pallette
unchallenged
allophone
calib[er|re]
galvani[s|z]ed
palliate
undervalue
allophonic
calibrate
genealogist 9 palliative
unpalatable
alloy 3 calico
genealogy 9 pallid
valance
aloe
caliphate
Gestalt
pallor
valediction
alopecia
callipers
halberd
palomino
valedictory
alpaca
callisthenics
halcyon
palpable
valentine
alphabet
callous
hallelujah
palpate
valet
alphabetic
calloused
hallo
palpitate
valo[u]r
alphabeti[s|z]e
callow
hallowed 10 palpitations 21 valuable
alphanumeric
Calor Gas
Halloween
phalanx 22 valuables 25
alpine
calorie
hallucinogen 11 phallic
valuation
Alsatian
calorific
halogen
phallus
value
altimeter
calorimeter
halogenic
rally
valuer
altitude
calque 5 heraldic 12 recalcitrant
valve

/æ/ Notes

  1. algal, and alkali
    The stressed (first) syllable has this vowel. See also under AL: /ə/.
  2. allied
    This is the adjective (as in, for example, "allied troops"). When used as a past participle this word has the same stress (and the same unstressed vowel) as the verb "ally" – see under AL: /ə/.
  3. alloy
    This is the noun. The same letters appear in words such as "unalloyed", which has an unstressed second syllable – see AL: /ə/.
  4. balalaika
    . The first syllable has this vowel; the "al" in the second syllable is unstressed – /ə/.
  5. calqueThis is not in the Macmillan English Dictionary, but it is in the Macmillan Dictionary Online. It is unlikely that an ESOL student would meet it, but it could arise in discussions of language
  6. counterbalance
    This is the sole representative of compound words formed with "balance". There are no separate entries either for idiomatic phrases (such as "balance of power" and "checks and balances").
  7. Dalai Lama
    Transcribed thus in the Macmillan English Dictionary but in the audio sample the sound is /ɑ:/.
  8. gallant
    This is the adjective, with stress on the first syllable. In the noun, the first syllable is unstressed – see AL: /ə/.
  9. genealogy
    Perhaps because of the popularity of genealogy on the Internet, the American English pronunciation (which Cambridge Dictionary of American English gives as having either /æl/ or /ɑl/) is often misheard, misreported, and then mistakenly learnt as /ɒ/ and misspelt as "geneology". As this is the only "-alogy" in English, it is possible that the erosion will continue , and that in 22nd-century English the a spelling will seem as old-fashioned as – for example – "shew" does today.
  10. hallowed
    The noun and the verb have limited (largely literary and/or poetic) use, but the past participle formed from the verb is still used in idioms such as ‘hallowed ground" or the hyperbolic – mock-reverential – "hallowed turf" in certain sports venues.
  11. hallucinogen
    The Macmillan English Dictionary gives this word the vowel sound /æ/, but the audio sample has /ə/ (like "hallucinate" and other derivatives, which are transcribed that way.
  12. heraldic
    It is not clear why the Macmillan English Dictionary does not include this word. Many others (for example, the Collins English Dictionary) do.
  13. maladjustment
    This is the sole representative of the many words that use the prefix "mal-" – with certain exceptions. These exceptions are generally cases where the remaining word, after the "mal-" is removed, is not a recognizable word in its own right.
  14. malfeasance
    This is included because the word "feasance", while it exists, is archaic and used chiefly in a legal context.
  15. malapropism
    This is included because the word "apropism" doesn‘t exist (except, perhaps, in a jocular context).
  16. malcontent
    This is included because, although the word "content" is recognizably etymologically relevant, the word is normally not a noun – not, that is, when stress is on the second syllable – (except in the British House of Lords, where it refers metonymically to the votes of people in favour of a motion, or to the voters themselves).
  17. mall
    The Macmillan English Dictionary gives a total of four transcriptions, two marked as "British English" and two marked as "American English". The two "British English" ones are /æ/ and /ɔ:/, but they both have the audio example /æ/. However, the one marked /ɔ:/ uses /æ/ in the context "shopping mall" – a context that tends to attract one of the American pronunciations (/ɔ/ – typically realized by speakers of British English as /ɔ:/).
  18. mallrat
    The Macmillan English Dictionary gives a "British English" pronunciation with /æ/. But as the word is American slang this pronunciation seems to be questionable. Certainly I have never heard it.
  19. malodorous
    The word "odorous" is not simply "giving off a smell", with a prefix indicating whether that smell is good or bad. (Similarly, "smelly" has an automatically negative connotation.)
  20. malware
    The "mal-" refers to the effect of the "-ware" rather than to its quality.
  21. palpitations
    Note the plural. The singular also exists, but the plural refers to a specific (though often ill- defined) physical condition.
  22. phalanx
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcription is thus for British English, and gives /eɪ/ as American English – although the /eɪ/ pronunciation is common in the UK. In fact, the /æ/ seems to be common enough in the US for the /eɪ/ transcription to be linked to an American voice using /æ/.
  23. salmon and salmonella
    Note that in "salmon" the l is silent, whereas in "salmonella" it is not.
  24. shall
    In most other cases of words that end "-all" - "ball", "call", "fall", "gall", "hall" ... –  the pronunciation is /ɔ:/. Philologists are generally not surprised to find exceptional pronunciations in words that are dying out: the frequency graph at the Collins Dictionary entry for evidence of this decline. (The usage graph may take a few seconds to load, and by default it shows usage in the ten years to 2008; Use the drop-down menu to select 100 years [or 300 years for the whole story – with an explosion in the late 18th century followed by a steady decline in the 19th and 20th centuries].)
  25. shallows and valuables
    This is a noun. Note the plural ending.
  26. shalom
    The Macmillan English Dictionary gives this transcription, but the audio clip has /ə/. Moreover, especially when sung, the vowel is commonly heard with the long vowel /ɑ:/.
  27. shalt
    This is archaic; it is the second person singular of the verb "shall", but is still used in Biblical (and pseudo-Biblical) quotations – particularly in the form "Thou shalt not...".
  28. tala
    Indian English musical term, used also by Westerners in the UK referring to Indian music.

That's all for now. I'll be keeping my head down until I can put something out on Kindle.

b

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

sonorants - further RefLectioN

This is some introductory stuff you may already have seen, expanded.

The UCL's SAMPA page (SAMPA being a typewriter-friendly* form of phonetic transcription, in  which "N" – for example – represents the IPA symbol /ŋ/ [the nasal consonant at the end of sing] ) defines sonorant consonants like this:

The sonorants are three nasals m n N, two liquids r l, and two sonorant glides w j
[BK: note that j is the glide often represented in English as "y", as in you].

UCL's SAMPA page 

*The web-site says 'computer-friendly' rather than typewriter-friendly, but surely in the 21st century there is not a computer – outside a museum, that is – that can't handle Unicode.

This grouping (of the sonorants) may at first sight seem rather arbitrary, but a quirk of English demonstrates their inter-relatedness. Consider words that can be given a negative spin by attaching the prefix in- – elegant/inelegant, for example. Students of ESOL know that there are several exceptions – for words with an initial l or m or r illicit, immoral, irrespective..onn the oy jer jand. These exception-creating letters are nearly always sonorants (though admittedly the im- one applies also to bilabials, as in imprecise and imbecile.... But those non-sonorant exceptions don't behave in the same way.  The sonorants simply double themselves, with the  first  of the pair replacing the n of the prefix;  in the case of words with an initial p or b, on the other hand, the n of the prefix assimilates to the bilabial that follows it – it would be hard not to [just try saying "inprecise"!] That n is not replaced, it is simply modified.)

An example from another language relates to Japanese speakers' problem with the English phonemes /r/ and /l/ . Both [r] and [l] sounds do exist in Japanese, but as context-dependent variants (allophones) of a single phoneme. (If the idea of allophones is new to you, consider the English words leek and keel. In the first, the [l] sound is formed toward the front of the mouth [the so-called "clear l"] and the [k] is formed at the back of the hard palate. In the second, the [k] sound is formed toward the front of the mouth,  and the [l] is formed at the back [the so-called "dark l"]. In both cases the distinct [l]s and [k]s are allophones of the /l/ and /k/ phonemes.)

Returning to English, consider what sort of letter can go in these contexts:
  • "<vowel>__<affricate>" (an affricate being – in English [other languages have many more] – /tʃ/ or /ʤ/); for example filch, bilge, lunch, lunge, perch, purge [in these cases, in non-rhotic accents, the r disappears but changes the preceding vowel, as some other sonorants do]....
  • "<vowel>__<fricative>" (fricatives including – in English [other languages have many more] – /s/, /z/, /f/, /v/, /ʃ/, /ʒ/, /θ/, and /ð/); for example else, bells, shelf, shelves, welsh, [belge – native English words don't have this pattern], tilth, ....
  • "<stop>__<vowel>" (where the English stops are /p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/); for example plead, bleed, pre, Brie. lunch, lunge. (The nasals don't work in this pattern.)
  • "<unvoiced_fricative>__<vowel>"; for example slow, snow, flee, free, athlete, three. (The voiced fricatives don't work in this pattern – except in borrowings [such as zloty] and proper names [Hazlitt, Oslo, Wesley...]. And n works only before s; while even s can't be followed by r – except in colloquial contractions such as "s'right" and the borrowed "Sri".)
All these examples demonstrate, how there is something special about sonorants. This book sets out to show how that something special affects the way vowels behave in conjunction with them.

Update: 2016.10.06.12:45 Added afterthought in red (prompted by this morning's In Our Time – coincidence?)

Update: 2016.10.06.22:45 – Added a further  afterthought in blue.

Friday, September 30, 2016

A taster (one of the less frequent AL sounds)

I haven't yet reached the Promised Land (the 'then a miracle happens' moment mentioned here, but here's an amuse-bouche (with the links unchecked, but often working). I've lumped together  /a::l/ and /a:/.
   
almond 1 calm
half
impala
napalm
almoner 2 calve
half-and-half
Kabbalah 10 palm
alms 3 chorale
half-baked 7 lala
palm oil
aloo 4 dhal
half-breed 7 lip balm
palmist
balm
Dalek
half-caste 7 locale
psalm
balmy
embalm
half-cock 7 marsala 11 qualms 12
behalf
finale
half-timbered 8 masala
rationale
calf
fly half 5 half-truth 9 morale
slalom

Notes

  1. almond
    Macmillan English Dictionary transcribes "almond" with this long vowel and no /l/, but many other pronunciations are current among native-speakers of British English. I have heard /ɑ:l/, /ɔ:l/, /æl/ and /ɒl/. Some of these are reported in Cambridge Dictionaries Online and identified as "American".
  2. almoner
    The Macmillan English Dictionary does not include "almoner", but other dictionaries (for example, Collins English Dictionary) do. In this and many other "-al-" words the letters "al" represent the phoneme /ɑ:/; there is no /l/.
  3. alms
    Note the plural ending.
  4. aloo
    The Macmillan English Dictionary gives "aloo" this long vowel, but with primary stress on the second syllable, suggesting an /ə/ pronunciation in the first. Other pronunciations are common (as is normal with foreign borrowings).
  5. fly-half
    In this expression (a position in a game of rugby) there is no clear (immediate) sense of "divided by two".
  6. gala
    Used in compounds, probably the most successful being "swimming gala". In many northern dialects the stressed vowel is pronounced /eɪ/. (This pronunciation is identified in the Macmillan English Dictionary as "American", although it is common in many British English dialects.)
  7. half-baked, half-breed and half-caste
    In these and many other words that use the qualifier "half" "half"-ness does not have a direct and/or obvious association with the word that follows "half-".
  8. half-timbered
    In this sort of building, some of the structural timbers (not necessarily half) have a cosmetic function.
  9. half-truth
    In this sort of misleading statement much of what is asserted is true (often – though not necessarily – more than half).
  10. Kabbalah
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcribes this word with the long /ɑ:/ vowel, but the audio sample has a clear /æ/. Both pronunciations are common.
  11. marsala
    The Macmillan English Dictionary does not include this word but other dictionaries (for example, Collins English Dictionary) do.
  12. qualms
    The Macmillan English Dictionary gives this in the plural. The plural is indeed more common; the British National Corpus contains 141 instances of the plural and only 30 of the singular, and in the Corpus Of Contemporary American (a much bigger corpus) the preference is even stronger (705:71). But the singular is used - most commonly after a negative, as in the idiom "without a qualm". 
Update: 2016.10.04.11:50 – Fixed two links. (One of these fixes really deserves a new note – TBD. [And whether D stands for Discussed or Done is a matter for my conscience. :-)])

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sigil-ism



Sigil produces .epub output...........1
I've begun moving stuff to Sigil......2

WVGTbk will be a/v as an .epub 
(sometime)...3

At last I can put it off no longer and am broaching Sigil (and Linux). Linux has opened up for me the wonderful  world of syntax colouring, which lets me do stuff like this:



And it doesn't just look pretty, it warns you when you make a syntax error (a guaranteed concomitant of coding of any sort).

Meanwhile, here's the latest (I'm not posting them all as I go along, just a select few):

OL Representing /əʊ/ Notes

  1. acrolect
    The Macmillan English Dictionary gives this transcription, but the audio sample has the vowel sound /ə/.
  2. ahold
    This word is on the CD supplied with the Macmillan English Dictionary, with audio samples identified as British and American. But the entry in Macmillan English Dictionary Online has a URL that specifies that it is "American". It is heard in the UK, but widely regarded as very informal.
  3. bankroll
    This is the sole representative of the many compound nouns formed by the addition of -roll. In this case adding another noun has produced a new verb too: to bankroll something is to make its development possible by making funds available.
  4. below-the-fold
    link to el- ɪ note (note already done for the *el* in the first syllable, commenting on irony of the Macmillan definition – unless of course it refers prophetically to folding screens [and cp flash-in-the-pan, hang up {a telephone}, etc: metaphors outlasting the technology they refer to].)
  5. boll
    The Macmillan English Dictionary gives this transcription, but the audio sample has the vowel sound /ɒ/ (sharing the vowel sound with atoll, doll, folly, jolly, knoll, moll, poll, and toll[bridge|booth] (but not toll itself) . See also note 16.
  6. ecolabel
    This is the sole representative of the many words (and neologisms) that use the prefix eco-.
  7. folk (and its derivatives), holm-oak, and yolk
    These words could be in a section of their own, as they have no /l/ sound.
  8. gasholder
    This is the sole representative of the many words that use hold to make a compound word when the string -hold has a clear containing sense. This does not apply to some -hold words – for example freehold.
  9. gentlefolk
    This is the sole representative of the many compound nouns formed with -folk.
  10. goldfinch
    As the gold in this compound is metaphorical it escapes the exclusion given in note 9.
  11. goldmine
    This is the sole representative of compound words constructed with the prefix gold-.
  12. mold (and its derivatives), molt, and smolder
    These words are American English variants of words that – by dint of the general exclusion of words with double vowels – are not included here.
  13. monolingual
    The Macmillan English Dictionary gives this transcription, but the audio sample has the vowel sound /ə/.
  14. oleander 
    The Macmillan English Dictionary gives this transcription, but the audio sample has the vowel sound /ɑ/.
  15. polarity
    The Macmillan English Dictionary gives this transcription, but the audio sample has the vowel sound /ə/.
  16. poll
    This is unlike many other -oll words, which have the vowel sound /ɒ/. In the fairly uncommon usage that refers to a truncated part, some speakers always prefer /ɒ/.
  17. profiterole
    Students of ESOL should note that neither of the es in this word is a Magic E. The first represents a new syllable (in a four-syllable word), leaving the second vowel as /ɪ/, and some speakers pronounce the second o with a sound more like the French [ɔ] or at least the British English /ɒ/.
  18. prolapse
    The vowel sound in the prefix – unlike words such as collapse – is not normally reduced to /ə/.
  19. proletarian
    As in the case of profiterole (see note 17) the e in this word is not a magic E; the word has five syllables.
  20. small-holder and small-holding
    These two escape the exclusion given in note 8 because what is held is not (except comparatively) small, and in any case the object of comparison – a farm – is not expressed.
  21. stronghold
    This escapes the exclusion given in note 9 because the object of the holding (typically a building) is not specified; what is held is a position of strength.
  22. threefold
    This is the sole representative of compound words constructed with the suffix -fold.
  23. tollgate
    This is the sole representative of compound words constructed with the prefix toll-.
  24. townsfolk
    This escapes the exclusion made in note 9 because – unlike menfolk and youngfolk – the suffix -folk is not simply added to the defining noun/adjective.
  25. troll
    Also heard with /ɒ/. Both pronunciations are both common and acceptable.
  26. wholly
    Compare sole/solely (both in the Magic E section).

Monday, September 12, 2016

/ɔ:l/ together again

I don't plan to re-post everything here as I do my second pass, but this is a case of significant rewriting/correction/addition. So [and in that case the word does have a meaning] here are the /ɔ:/ and /ɔ:l/ notes.

  1. all-conquering
    This is the sole representative of the many adjectives that use the prefix "all" (for example "all-knowing", "all-powerful"...).
  2. all alone/along
    This sound occurs in the first word. The "al" in the second word is unstressed. See /ə/.
  3. alright
    This is not included in some dictionaries, but the Macmillan English Dictionary does include it - only adding "Many people consider this to be incorrect.‘
  4. balk
    Also "baulk". Note that, unlike many other -alk words (chalk, stalk, talk, and walk), this word keeps the /l/ sound (as does caulk – although the spelling without the u is much less common). In the British National Corpus there are a good half as many instances of balk as there are of baulk (24:40); the Macmillan English Dictionary does include it, but notes that it is an American usage. Even the Corpus of Contemporary American, though, includes many more instances of caulk than of calk. In any case, a student of ESOL is unlikely to need this word.
  5. Balkanis/zation
    The Macmillan English Dictionary transcribes this word thus, but the audio sample uses the sound /ɒ/.
  6. ballcock
    This is the sole representative of the many compound words that start "ball-" (for example" ballgown") - or end "-ball" (for example "baseball").
  7. balti
    The Macmillan English Dictionary gives two transcriptions, /ɔ:/ and /æ/, but the audio clips (though of different speakers) both use the /ɔ:/ phoneme. Typical of foreign borrowings, the vowels can vary widely; /ɒ/ is also common in this word.
  8. be-all
    This is part of the phrase "be-all-and-end-all". In current usage there is no other phrase that includes it.
  9. callback
    This is the sole representative of the many compound words that use the string "call-" or "-call".
  10. chalkboard
    This is the sole representative of other compound words that use the string "chalk-" (for example, "chalkface").
  11. cobalt
    The Macmillan English Dictionary gives this transcription, but the audio sample uses a sound that falls somewhere between /ɒ/ and /æ/.
  12. enthral(l)
    The Macmillan English Dictionary does not include the version that has "ll" in the CD-ROM version (and indeed its participles are much more common). But other dictionaries, including Macmillan English Dictionary online, do include it. The link there includes the word "American" , though the British National Corpus has 12 instances in a corpus of 100 million words (1:83), whereas the Corpus of Contemporary American has an almost identical frequency (58 in a corpus of 450 million - 1:76).
  13. fall
    This list does not include the many compound words that include the string "fall" where there is a clear sense of downward motion; in many cases this meaning is present but lost in the mists of etymology.
  14. hallmark
    The many compound words that include the string "hall", where there is a clear sense of a public and/or general-use room. In some cases (for instance, "hallmark") this sense is less clear.
  15. highball
    This escapes the global exclusion of "-ball" compounds as there is no "ball" in a "highball".
  16. instal(l)
    The Macmillan English Dictionary does not include the spelling with a single "l" but many other dictionaries do - the Collins English Dictionary, for example, does.
  17. mall
    See also under /æ/.
  18. overalls
    The adjective (with no "s") is excluded along with many other "over-" and "-all" compounds, but the "plural" is a garment (which is naturally singular, not unlike "trousers").
  19. palter
    This word is not in the Macmillan English Dictionary , though it is in several other dictionaries (for example, the Collins English Dictionary). It is indeed rare: it does not figure in British National Corpus , and Corpus of Contemporary American includes only 11 instances.
  20. salt water
    This is the sole representative of collocations that include the word "salt".
  21. SWALK
    The Macmillan English Dictionary gives this with the /ɔ:/ vowel, but as it is necessarily written (on the outside of an envelope) the question of its pronunciation is moot. (My "mental voice" pronounces it with the /æ/ vowel, and with the /l/ sounded.)
  22. uptalk
    The Macmillan English Dictionary gives only the noun, but the primary stress marked in the transcription does not match the primary stress sounded in the audio sample (either for British English or for American English). The speakers in the examples presumably have in mind a verb (which other dictionaries agree in not including); but I have heard both stresses, and suspect that future dictionaries may recognize the existence of a verb. In this case it seems possible that – since the word is chiefly used among linguists – the speakers both make the mistaken assumption that it is a compound verb formed on the basis of the phrasal verb talk up, meaning something like "enhance (in price or position) by means of unwarranted praise". At present, the word is used fairly rarely in discussions of modes of speech; "uptalk" is not alone among terms used to refer to the same phenomenon. In academic use the preferred word seems to be "HRT" (High Rise Terminal and/or Tone).
  23. walkover/walkthrough
    This is not excluded with other "walk-" compounds because a contestant awarded a walkover does not necessarily walk; nor does a person conducting a walkthrough, for similar reasons.
  24. wallflower/wallpaper
    This is not excluded with other "wall-" compounds because of the figurative meaning (wallflower - someone [in the days when formal dancing was the norm in "polite society", this person was necessarily a woman] who does not have a dancing partner; wallpaper - a background on a PC/laptop/tablet/phone)
  25. windfall
    This escapes the exclusion of other "wind-" and "-fall" compounds because of the figurative meaning (both as a noun [an unexpected stroke of good fortune] and as an adjective [chiefly used in the expression "windfall tax"]).