Google Groups no longer supports new Usenet posts or subscriptions. Historical content remains viewable.
Dismiss

Szetc

9 views
Skip to first unread message

roger...@mail.com

unread,
Nov 15, 2005, 5:54:21 AM11/15/05
to
Does any language use true consonant clusters whose components are
distinguished only by voice? E.g. sz/zs, fv/vf, etc.

(Intuitively, I'd say no: it just doesn't seem a natural thing to do.)

Miguel Carrasquer

unread,
Nov 15, 2005, 7:27:33 PM11/15/05
to
On 15 Nov 2005 02:54:21 -0800, roger...@mail.com wrote:

>Does any language use true consonant clusters whose components are
>distinguished only by voice? E.g. sz/zs, fv/vf, etc.

Yes, I'm sure I've seen examples.

Not quite what I had in mind (they're syllabic fricatives
here), but interesting in its own right, is Liangshan Yi
(Nosu)

http://www.und.nodak.edu/dept/linguistics/wp/1997Eatough.PDF

Some words (omitting tone marks):

mmlsz "cloth"
sz "anymore"
sz~ "wood"
fz "ugly" (vs. vz "to buy")
pHz~ "to spit"


=======================
Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
m...@wxs.nl

Miguel Carrasquer

unread,
Nov 15, 2005, 7:51:08 PM11/15/05
to
On Wed, 16 Nov 2005 01:27:33 +0100, Miguel Carrasquer
<m...@wxs.nl> wrote:

>On 15 Nov 2005 02:54:21 -0800, roger...@mail.com wrote:
>
>>Does any language use true consonant clusters whose components are
>>distinguished only by voice? E.g. sz/zs, fv/vf, etc.
>
>Yes, I'm sure I've seen examples.
>
>Not quite what I had in mind (they're syllabic fricatives
>here), but interesting in its own right, is Liangshan Yi
>(Nosu)

What I had in mind was Ladefoged & Maddieson, p. 80:

"Sounds that have been described [] as voiced ejectives are,
in our opinion, misnamed. Voiced ejectives have been
reported as contrastive in Zhu|'hõasi []. But as Snyman
makes clear [] these 'voiced ejectives' are prevoiced; the
release is voiceless and from a phonetic point of view they
are clusters of the form [dt']. Clusters involving
obstruents with mixed voicing are very rare in the world's
languages, but they occur in !Xu~ languages and in Kelabit
[]. We have already noted Zhu|'hõasi stops with mixed
voicing in table 3.7 (bpHe "to spit out", dtHa "blanket",
gkHaro "bed"). Further examples [] are given in table 3.17
(dcHau "woman", dc^Hii "to carry straddled on shoulder",
dc'oo "hartebeest", dc^'i "to be wet").

Brian M. Scott

unread,
Nov 15, 2005, 10:51:00 PM11/15/05
to
On Wed, 16 Nov 2005 01:27:33 +0100, Miguel Carrasquer
<m...@wxs.nl> wrote in
<news:trukn1tmmv0ck0lll...@4ax.com> in
sci.lang:

[...]

> Not quite what I had in mind (they're syllabic fricatives
> here), but interesting in its own right, is Liangshan Yi
> (Nosu)

> http://www.und.nodak.edu/dept/linguistics/wp/1997Eatough.PDF

> Some words (omitting tone marks):

> mmlsz "cloth"

Where (if I'm reading it correctly) the first [m] is
voiceless, and the [ml] is ligatured to represent
simultaneous articulation. This isn't nearly so bad as some
of the N. Amer. languages, but it's still a bit on the
baroque side. (I do like footnote 3: 'Xie Zhili (p.c.)
reports that in certain areas (where the northwestern and
southwestern varieties of Lianghshan Yi come together) there
is bilabial trilling that accompanies the palatalized
postalveolar onsets. When I heard him demonstrate, I
thought of Donald Duck.')

[...]

Brian

Ruud Harmsen

unread,
Nov 16, 2005, 3:54:39 AM11/16/05
to
On 15 Nov 2005 02:54:21 -0800, roger...@mail.com wrote:
>Does any language use true consonant clusters whose components are
>distinguished only by voice? E.g. sz/zs, fv/vf, etc.

European Portuguese, when spoken at normal (that is, full) speed, with
all reduceable vowels reduced, is full of them.
http://rudhar.com/foneport/en/not2port.htm#Note16b-Syllables

--
Ruud Harmsen - http://rudhar.com

perromaldido

unread,
Nov 16, 2005, 11:44:05 AM11/16/05
to

Polish, as in Sczeczin (Stettin)

Perromaldido

perromaldido

unread,
Nov 16, 2005, 11:44:10 AM11/16/05
to

Polish, as in Sczeczin (Stettin)

Perromaldido

Des Small

unread,
Nov 16, 2005, 11:53:53 AM11/16/05
to
"perromaldido" <kill...@sofcom.com> writes:

Right. Now there are more Google hits for <Sczeczin> than for
<Szczeczin>, although all the links actually use the second spelling.

(European low-cost airline Ryanair has started flying there, so the
name is slightly familiar to me.)

Also, I was under the impression that Polish <sz> was [S] and <cz> was
<tS> (i.e., that Polish <z> was slightly similar to Engleesh <s>), and
FWIW Wikipedia thinks so too
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_language#Orthography).

So what has <Szczeczin> got to do with the OP's question?

Des
wants to go to Woodge first

Ruud Harmsen

unread,
Nov 16, 2005, 12:00:24 PM11/16/05
to
16 Nov 2005 08:44:05 -0800: "perromaldido" <kill...@sofcom.com>: in
sci.lang:

>Polish, as in Sczeczin (Stettin)

Isn't <cz> just one phoneme? And <szcz> two, but perhaps also just
one? (Russian has a single cyrillic character for the (historically?)
similar sound).

Harlan Messinger

unread,
Nov 16, 2005, 12:22:42 PM11/16/05
to

How do you get *one* syllable out of "enigmático"?!

For "Portugal" and "telefonou", wouldn't /R/ and /l/, respectively,
serve as the "vowel"? I'd have to hear them the way you're describing,
but I can't imagine how to reduce these words beyond /pRt 'gaL/ and /tLf
'no/.

Harlan Messinger

unread,
Nov 16, 2005, 12:26:34 PM11/16/05
to

/StS/, a fricative followed by the corresponding affricate, isn't
related to the original question about sequences of corresponding voiced
and unvoiced sounds.

Ekkehard Dengler

unread,
Nov 16, 2005, 5:56:08 PM11/16/05
to

Harlan Messinger schrieb:

> How do you get *one* syllable out of "enigmático"?!
>
> For "Portugal" and "telefonou", wouldn't /R/ and /l/, respectively,
> serve as the "vowel"? I'd have to hear them the way you're describing,
> but I can't imagine how to reduce these words beyond /pRt 'gaL/ and /tLf
> 'no/.

The exact processes are hard to describe, but are basically a combination of
elision and coarticulation. Unstressed /e/ is routinely elided while
unstressed /u/ is devoiced and shortened to the point where it's effectively
a rounded consonant.

Suppose you want to reduce "por exemplo" to one syllable. Begin with rounded
[p]. Next, (try to) pronounce [r] and [z] simultaneously; when in doubt,
skip the [r]. Follow through with [e~] and end with [p], released into
voiceless rounded [l]. It can be done.

Regards,
Ekkehard


António Marques

unread,
Nov 16, 2005, 6:36:05 PM11/16/05
to
Ekkehard Dengler wrote:

Syllable collapse is indeed possible, but not to the extent Ruud
mentions, I think.

For _telefonou_, for instance, you can make the previous syllable end in
/tl/, place the fricative somewhere in the middle, and make [now] the
only syllable actually attributable to the word.

For _enigmatico_ you're in trouble because the e- usually has to be [e]
or [i]. You can get it to [I], but then it's hard to drop the [I]
itself, unlike what's usual. Of course you can do all these things, but
then you risk a break in communication.

Some contractions are more usual than others, and the most extreme cases
are seldom found. Yet it's possible, unlike in some other languages.
Though I doubt that brazilians find spanish easier than portuguese
because of it. Regardless of american myth, spanish phonetics is a whole
world in itself.
--
am

laurus : rhodophyta : brezoneg : smalltalk : stargate

Brian M. Scott

unread,
Nov 16, 2005, 7:09:11 PM11/16/05
to
On Wed, 16 Nov 2005 12:22:42 -0500, Harlan Messinger
<hmessinger...@comcast.net> wrote in
<news:3u1873F...@individual.net> in sci.lang:

[...]

> How do you get *one* syllable out of "enigmático"?!

Something like [Nma{tk}], with braces indicating
co-articulation? Or perhaps [gma{tk}]?

[...]

Brian

Paul J Kriha

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 4:05:30 AM11/17/05
to

Harlan Messinger <hmessinger...@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:3u18eaF...@individual.net...

> perromaldido wrote:
> > Ruud Harmsen wrote:
> >
> >>On 15 Nov 2005 02:54:21 -0800, roger...@mail.com wrote:
> >>
> >>>Does any language use true consonant clusters whose components are
> >>>distinguished only by voice? E.g. sz/zs, fv/vf, etc.
> >>
> >>European Portuguese, when spoken at normal (that is, full) speed, with
> >>all reduceable vowels reduced, is full of them.
> >>http://rudhar.com/foneport/en/not2port.htm#Note16b-Syllables
> >>
> >>--
> >>Ruud Harmsen - http://rudhar.com
> >
> >
> > Polish, as in Sczeczin (Stettin)

Oh, poppycock, there is no such place anywhere in Poland.

> /StS/, a fricative followed by the corresponding affricate, isn't
> related to the original question about sequences of corresponding voiced
> and unvoiced sounds.

Exactly, that's why in Polish the name is spelled Szczecin as one would expect.
(Even by some of us like me who don't speak Polish :-).

pjk


Ruud Harmsen

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 5:31:04 AM11/17/05
to
>> http://rudhar.com/foneport/en/not2port.htm#Note16b-Syllables

Wed, 16 Nov 2005 12:22:42 -0500: Harlan Messinger
<hmessinger...@comcast.net>: in sci.lang:


>How do you get *one* syllable out of "enigmático"?!

All the vowels except á ([a]) are reduced to a colouring of the
consonants.

It may be that this particular example is wrong (native speakers?),
the initial unstressed e is a special case is some respects. This
example is unattested, but many others I heard myself.

>For "Portugal" and "telefonou", wouldn't /R/ and /l/, respectively,
>serve as the "vowel"?

Can, but isn't.
(It's not /R/, but /r/, by the way. Using a uvular sound in this
position is only possible in Brasil).

>I'd have to hear them the way you're describing,
>but I can't imagine how to reduce these words beyond /pRt 'gaL/ and /tLf
>'no/.

I don't understand how they manage either, but they do. There are
links to samples to the (admittedly less spectacular) example "Rádio
Globo Digital", lower in the page.

Ruud Harmsen

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 5:40:28 AM11/17/05
to
>Harlan Messinger schrieb:
>> How do you get *one* syllable out of "enigmático"?!

>> For "Portugal" and "telefonou", wouldn't /R/ and /l/, respectively,
>> serve as the "vowel"? I'd have to hear them the way you're describing,
>> but I can't imagine how to reduce these words beyond /pRt 'gaL/ and /tLf
>> 'no/.

Wed, 16 Nov 2005 23:56:08 +0100: "Ekkehard Dengler"
<ED...@t-online.de>: in sci.lang:


>The exact processes are hard to describe, but are basically a combination of
>elision and coarticulation. Unstressed /e/ is routinely elided while
>unstressed /u/ is devoiced and shortened to the point where it's effectively
>a rounded consonant.

I listened to the satirical TV program "Contra-Informação" yesterday
(no direct URL, they restructured the access, so I'd have to dig in
the Javascript to find it. Cna be accessed via
http://www.rtp.pt/wportal/multimedia/video/index.php though, date 9
Nov 2005).

They speak veeeeerrryyyyy slowly in that show (like bo..a noi..te),
but even then there were those occasional 'rattles' , in stock phrases
like 'todos os Portugueses".

It seems TV Portuguese is becoming slower these days than it used to
be. All the presidential candidates speak very slowly, Cavaco Silva
for example. Or is just that I now understand more than before?

>Suppose you want to reduce "por exemplo" to one syllable.
>Begin with rounded
>[p]. Next, (try to) pronounce [r] and [z] simultaneously; when in doubt,
>skip the [r]. Follow through with [e~] and end with [p], released into
>voiceless rounded [l]. It can be done.

Exactly.

Examples from the above-mentioned satirical show:
2:02: "comigo" (with me)

3:08: "quando percebi" (when I finally understood what was going on)

4:18: "estes árbitros" (these arbiters)

3:53: é que às vezes os defesas do Porto" (the thing is sometimes
Porto's defenders ...)
(The part between 'vez' and 'fes' is completely "rolled into one".)

4:07: "prejudicial" (hazardous, damaging): one syllable, maybe two,
but no more. Not five, as the spelling suggests, and as the
corresponding Spanish, Italian or French word (or Brasilian
Portuguese, for that matter) would have..

Again, this show is in exaggeratedly slow speech. In normal
conversation, nearly everything is in this contracted mode. Yet,
often, it can actually be understood, after a lot of practice ...

Ruud Harmsen

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 6:01:50 AM11/17/05
to
Wed, 16 Nov 2005 19:09:11 -0500: "Brian M. Scott"
<b.s...@csuohio.edu>: in sci.lang:

>> How do you get *one* syllable out of "enigmático"?!
>
>Something like [Nma{tk}],

No, the [n] and the [g] don't assimilate. There is very little
assimilation between consonsants in Portuguese. Voiced consonants may
get devoiced, but without becoming the same as the corresponing
voiceless consonant. And place of articulation practically always
stays distinct.

>with braces indicating
>co-articulation? Or perhaps [gma{tk}]?

--

Ruud Harmsen

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 6:03:57 AM11/17/05
to
Wed, 16 Nov 2005 23:36:05 +0000: António Marques <m....@sapo.pt>: in
sci.lang:

>For _enigmatico_ you're in trouble because the e- usually has to be [e]
>or [i]. You can get it to [I], but then it's hard to drop the [I]
>itself, unlike what's usual. Of course you can do all these things, but
>then you risk a break in communication.

There are lots of such breaks when I try to understand spoken
Portuguese. (;-)
Now that I'm getting better, I often still have that "huh??" feeling
at the end of a phrase, and then I sort of see the whole thing rolled
back in a mental movie, re-assembled into full forms, and I realise
what it must have been that led to what I actually heard. If the pause
is long enough for this mental process to evolve, I can understand the
meaning, but if the next full speed sentence has already started, I
often "derail", which means switching from understanding nearly
everything to nothing at all.There is nothing in between. It's either
95% or 0%. Formerly, I was more often at zero, now I am at 95% for
longer periods. But only if the speaker adheres to a standard Lisbon
or Coimbra accent. The slighest regional accent can put me off the
track already.

>Some contractions are more usual than others, and the most extreme cases
>are seldom found.

All the time, in my experience. Especially in heated TV debates
between a politician and a tv reporter who tries to make them say the
wrong things.

John Atkinson

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 6:41:20 AM11/17/05
to

"Ruud Harmsen" <realemail...@rudhar.com.invalid> wrote ...

> 16 Nov 2005 08:44:05 -0800: "perromaldido" <kill...@sofcom.com>:
>

>>Polish, as in Sczeczin (Stettin)
>
> Isn't <cz> just one phoneme? And <szcz> two, but perhaps also just
> one? (Russian has a single cyrillic character for the (historically?)
> similar sound).

More to the point, both <sz> and <cz> are voiceless, however many phonemes
their combination forms.

John.


Ekkehard Dengler

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 7:04:45 AM11/17/05
to

Ruud Harmsen schrieb:
> Harlan Messinger schrieb:

> >I'd have to hear them the way you're describing,
> >but I can't imagine how to reduce these words beyond /pRt 'gaL/ and /tLf
> >'no/.
>
> I don't understand how they manage either, but they do. There are
> links to samples to the (admittedly less spectacular) example "Rádio
> Globo Digital", lower in the page.

If you want spectacular examples, I suggest looking out for the very popular
trisyllabic version of "Futebol Clube do Porto".

Regards,
Ekkehard


Ruud Harmsen

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 9:28:50 AM11/17/05
to
Thu, 17 Nov 2005 13:04:45 +0100: "Ekkehard Dengler"
<ED...@t-online.de>: in sci.lang:

>If you want spectacular examples, I suggest looking out for the very popular


>trisyllabic version of "Futebol Clube do Porto".

I'll wait until my compatriot Co Adriaanse can properly say that. Will
take a long time. So far he only speaks English, which is duly
translated. Ronald Koeman in Lisbon still always speaks (rather good)
Spanish, which is left untranslated.

Harlan Messinger

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 10:25:05 AM11/17/05
to
Harlan Messinger wrote:
>
> For "Portugal" and "telefonou", wouldn't /R/ and /l/, respectively,
> serve as the "vowel"? I'd have to hear them the way you're describing,
> but I can't imagine how to reduce these words beyond /pRt 'gaL/ and /tLf
> 'no/.

Rather, /tLf 'now/?

Harlan Messinger

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 10:28:39 AM11/17/05
to
Ekkehard Dengler wrote:
> Harlan Messinger schrieb:
>
>
>>How do you get *one* syllable out of "enigmático"?!
>>
>>For "Portugal" and "telefonou", wouldn't /R/ and /l/, respectively,
>>serve as the "vowel"? I'd have to hear them the way you're describing,
>>but I can't imagine how to reduce these words beyond /pRt 'gaL/ and /tLf
>>'no/.
>
>
> The exact processes are hard to describe, but are basically a combination of
> elision and coarticulation. Unstressed /e/ is routinely elided while
> unstressed /u/ is devoiced and shortened to the point where it's effectively
> a rounded consonant.
>
> Suppose you want to reduce "por exemplo" to one syllable. Begin with rounded
> [p]. Next, (try to) pronounce [r] and [z] simultaneously; when in doubt,
> skip the [r].

Is that anything like the r-colored /d/ and /n/ sounds in Swedish? (And
what's the proper term for those?) That would help me slightly to
understand the articulation of "Portugal".

Miguel Carrasquer

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 10:40:40 AM11/17/05
to
On Thu, 17 Nov 2005 10:28:39 -0500, Harlan Messinger
<hmessinger...@comcast.net> wrote:

>Ekkehard Dengler wrote:
>> Suppose you want to reduce "por exemplo" to one syllable. Begin with rounded
>> [p]. Next, (try to) pronounce [r] and [z] simultaneously; when in doubt,
>> skip the [r].
>
>Is that anything like the r-colored /d/ and /n/ sounds in Swedish?

No.

>(And what's the proper term for those?)

Retroflex.

Ruud Harmsen

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 10:42:17 AM11/17/05
to
Thu, 17 Nov 2005 10:28:39 -0500: Harlan Messinger
<hmessinger...@comcast.net>: in sci.lang:

>> Suppose you want to reduce "por exemplo" to one syllable. Begin with rounded


>> [p]. Next, (try to) pronounce [r] and [z] simultaneously; when in doubt,
>> skip the [r].
>
>Is that anything like the r-colored /d/ and /n/ sounds in Swedish?

Retroflex r + alveolar (dental?) t or d ==> retroflex t or d.

Ekkehard Dengler

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 11:52:44 AM11/17/05
to

Harlan Messinger schrieb:

Only if you want to sound like a northerner.

Regards,
Ekkehard


António Marques

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 3:59:33 PM11/17/05
to
Ekkehard Dengler wrote:

>>> For "Portugal" and "telefonou", wouldn't /R/ and /l/, respectively,
>>> serve as the "vowel"? I'd have to hear them the way you're describing,
>>> but I can't imagine how to reduce these words beyond /pRt 'gaL/ and /tLf
>>> 'no/.
>>
>> Rather, /tLf 'now/?
>
> Only if you want to sound like a northerner.

Do you know anyone for whom toro and touro are the same? The greatest
reduction of /ou/ I've seen is [o:] (where /o/ would be [o] - add to
that that <ou> remains unchanged in unstressed position).

Really, claiming such reductions are natural is a bit like saying you
can cram 'er hat es mir nicht gesagt' into 3 syllables (which I think
can even sound ok, /rhatsm rnICt kzakt/ or something).

António Marques

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 4:08:47 PM11/17/05
to
Ruud Harmsen wrote:

>> If you want spectacular examples, I suggest looking out for the very popular
>> trisyllabic version of "Futebol Clube do Porto".
>
> I'll wait until my compatriot Co Adriaanse can properly say that. Will
> take a long time.

Maybe forever. I can't. I think you have to have been born there and
have been a registered supporter before you've even had a birth certificate.

> So far he only speaks English, which is duly
> translated. Ronald Koeman in Lisbon still always speaks (rather good)
> Spanish, which is left untranslated.

One can understand him much better than Camacho.

All in all, however, the only example of remote relevance for the
original question may be 'Fevereiro' /fv/?, with great licence.

Ekkehard Dengler

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 6:11:30 PM11/17/05
to

António Marques schrieb:

> Ekkehard Dengler wrote:
>
> >>> For "Portugal" and "telefonou", wouldn't /R/ and /l/, respectively,
> >>> serve as the "vowel"? I'd have to hear them the way you're describing,
> >>> but I can't imagine how to reduce these words beyond /pRt 'gaL/ and
/tLf
> >>> 'no/.
> >>
> >> Rather, /tLf 'now/?
> >
> > Only if you want to sound like a northerner.
>
> Do you know anyone for whom toro and touro are the same?

No, I don't; "toro" is ['tO:ru] and "touro" is ['to:ru], except in the
north, where it's typically pronounced with a diphthong. How's that
relevant, though? I don't think I quite understand what you're implying
here. Anyway, the fact remains that there's no such thing as an /ou/ phoneme
in either the standard pronunciation or, for that matter, any regional
variety spoken outside the north.

> The greatest
> reduction of /ou/ I've seen is [o:] (where /o/ would be [o] - add to
> that that <ou> remains unchanged in unstressed position).

Straightforward [o:] is a perfectly unremarkable realisation of the /o/
phoneme, not some kind of unusual reduction.

> Really, claiming such reductions are natural is a bit like saying you
> can cram 'er hat es mir nicht gesagt' into 3 syllables (which I think
> can even sound ok, /rhatsm rnICt kzakt/ or something).

Except that you'll never hear anything like that from a German newsreader
while José Rodrigues dos Santos routinely manages to cram "Futebol Clube do
Porto" into three syllables -- and gets away with it. He did it again
tonight.

Regards,
Ekkehard


Ekkehard Dengler

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 6:29:14 PM11/17/05
to

António Marques schrieb:

> All in all, however, the only example of remote relevance for the
> original question may be 'Fevereiro' /fv/?, with great licence.

Do Portuguese place-names count as well? If so: "Sesimbra" [sz].

Regards,
Ekkehard


António Marques

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 6:49:15 PM11/17/05
to
Ekkehard Dengler wrote:

>> Do you know anyone for whom toro and touro are the same?
>
> No, I don't; "toro" is ['tO:ru]

Excpet when it's [toru].

> Anyway, the fact remains that there's no such thing as an /ou/ phoneme
> in either the standard pronunciation or, for that matter, any regional
> variety spoken outside the north.

There is no /ou/ phoneme. There's /o/ followed by /u/, which is realised
distinctively as varieties of [ow] in the north, and less distinctively
so tending towards [o] as you walk southwards. However, I don't think it
come to merge with plain /o/ in any part of the territory.

A parallel phenomenon happens with <ei>, though the gradients are
different. I don't think 'pe^ra' and 'beira' merge anywhere.

>> The greatest
>> reduction of /ou/ I've seen is [o:] (where /o/ would be [o] - add to
>> that that <ou> remains unchanged in unstressed position).
>
> Straightforward [o:] is a perfectly unremarkable realisation of the /o/
> phoneme, not some kind of unusual reduction.

But unstressed /ou/ is longer than stressed /o/, and even if it were as
long, it would be the only portuguese phoneme that wouldn't be shorter
when unstressed, which isn't a very useful analysis, and what do you do
with de facto unstressed short [o], as in co-piloto, cofragem, etc? What
phoneme is it? Those words don't sound like *cou-piloto or *coufragem.

(NB 'Coutinho' and 'couto' have simple [o])

For another stressed example, the vowel in manjedoura is different from
the one in transportadora.

Of course with extreme reduction, everything may get reduced. Even d's
disappear, as I pointed out a while ago. But that doesn't mean they
don't exist.

>> Really, claiming such reductions are natural is a bit like saying you
>> can cram 'er hat es mir nicht gesagt' into 3 syllables (which I think
>> can even sound ok, /rhatsm rnICt kzakt/ or something).
>
> Except that you'll never hear anything like that from a German newsreader
> while José Rodrigues dos Santos routinely manages to cram "Futebol Clube do
> Porto" into three syllables -- and gets away with it. He did it again
> tonight.

Are you sure you won't hear anything like that from a german newsreader?
Because I can assure you that when I hear german on the TV they do
manage to do stuff of that sort (except on Deutsche Welle).

António Marques

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 7:14:43 PM11/17/05
to
Ekkehard Dengler wrote:

>> All in all, however, the only example of remote relevance for the
>> original question may be 'Fevereiro' /fv/?, with great licence.
>
> Do Portuguese place-names count as well? If so: "Sesimbra" [sz].

Yes - I looked for one with [SZ] or [ZS], but couldn't find any. I think
it's harder to find a voiced-unvoiced sequence, as it ould imply a very
audible vowel between. OTOH, there's plenty of [sZ] or [Zs] or even
[zZ], [Ss], etc ([Z] is less voiced near [s] but different from [S]).

Ekkehard Dengler

unread,
Nov 17, 2005, 8:39:06 PM11/17/05
to
António Marques schrieb:

> Ekkehard Dengler wrote:
>
> >> Do you know anyone for whom toro and touro are the same?
> >
> > No, I don't; "toro" is ['tO:ru]
>
> Excpet when it's [toru].

I don't think I've ever heard "toro" with /o/, and in any case I doubt that
the stressed vowel would be short.

> > Anyway, the fact remains that there's no such thing as an /ou/ phoneme
> > in either the standard pronunciation or, for that matter, any regional
> > variety spoken outside the north.
>
> There is no /ou/ phoneme. There's /o/ followed by /u/, which is realised
> distinctively as varieties of [ow] in the north, and less distinctively
> so tending towards [o] as you walk southwards. However, I don't think it
> come to merge with plain /o/ in any part of the territory.

The two have certainly merged in standard Portuguese.

> >> The greatest
> >> reduction of /ou/ I've seen is [o:] (where /o/ would be [o] - add to
> >> that that <ou> remains unchanged in unstressed position).
> >

> For another stressed example, the vowel in manjedoura is different from
> the one in transportadora.

No, it isn't, for most speakers. In both standard Portuguese and many
regional varieties, "manjedoura" rhymes with "transportadora".

Regards,
Ekkehard


Ruud Harmsen

unread,
Nov 18, 2005, 4:33:39 AM11/18/05
to
Fri, 18 Nov 2005 00:14:43 +0000: António Marques <m....@sapo.pt>: in
sci.lang:

>Yes - I looked for one with [SZ] or [ZS], but couldn't find any.

Jesus [ZzuS]. Doesn't quite count, not the same place of articulation.

Ruud Harmsen

unread,
Nov 18, 2005, 4:47:35 AM11/18/05
to
Thu, 17 Nov 2005 23:49:15 +0000: António Marques <m....@sapo.pt>: in
sci.lang:

>Ekkehard Dengler wrote:


>
>>> Do you know anyone for whom toro and touro are the same?
>>
>> No, I don't; "toro" is ['tO:ru]
>
>Excpet when it's [toru].

Which is when?

>Of course with extreme reduction, everything may get reduced. Even d's
>disappear, as I pointed out a while ago. But that doesn't mean they
>don't exist.

In my experience, all the consonants are always still there, no matter
how strong the reduction. A voiced lax [d] can become unvoiced lax
[d-with-circle-underneath] (as is "o descobridor"), but that's still
different from voiceless tense [t].

>> Except that you'll never hear anything like that from a German newsreader
>> while José Rodrigues dos Santos routinely manages to cram "Futebol Clube do
>> Porto" into three syllables -- and gets away with it. He did it again
>> tonight.
>
>Are you sure you won't hear anything like that from a german newsreader?

Seem rather unlikely.

>Because I can assure you that when I hear german on the TV they do
>manage to do stuff of that sort (except on Deutsche Welle).

When I listen to a Hungarian radio station I hear all the vowels and
all the syllables, without being able to understand anything, simply
because I don't know the language.
In Portuguese, I either stay on track, or I get derailed, lose sync.
European Portuguese can only be heard if you understand it first. What
you don't understand (as a foreign learner) you also don't hear, so
you can't look it up in a dictionary. In other languages this is
possible. EP is really special in this respect.

Ekkehard Dengler

unread,
Nov 18, 2005, 10:46:26 AM11/18/05
to

António Marques schrieb:
> Ekkehard Dengler wrote:

> There is no /ou/ phoneme. There's /o/ followed by /u/, which is realised
> distinctively as varieties of [ow] in the north, and less distinctively
> so tending towards [o] as you walk southwards. However, I don't think it
> come to merge with plain /o/ in any part of the territory.
>
> A parallel phenomenon happens with <ei>, though the gradients are

> different. I don't think 'pêra' and 'beira' merge anywhere.

They've definitely merged in parts of the Alentejo. You must have heard the
saying "Os alentejanos tiram o <i> do lêti e põem no caféi." It's basically
true.

> But unstressed /ou/ is longer than stressed /o/,

In most of the country, it clearly isn't: "estouvado" [Sto.'va:du], "estojo"
['Sto:Zu].

> >> Really, claiming such reductions are natural is a bit like saying you
> >> can cram 'er hat es mir nicht gesagt' into 3 syllables (which I think
> >> can even sound ok, /rhatsm rnICt kzakt/ or something).
> >
> > Except that you'll never hear anything like that from a German
newsreader
> > while José Rodrigues dos Santos routinely manages to cram "Futebol Clube
do
> > Porto" into three syllables -- and gets away with it. He did it again
> > tonight.
>
> Are you sure you won't hear anything like that from a german newsreader?

Yes, very. Except in private.

Regards,
Ekkehard


António Marques

unread,
Nov 18, 2005, 5:44:29 PM11/18/05
to
Ruud Harmsen wrote:

>>>> Do you know anyone for whom toro and touro are the same?
>>>
>>> No, I don't; "toro" is ['tO:ru]
>>
>> Excpet when it's [toru].
>
> Which is when?

Every time, in my environment at least, which isn't northerner. Plural
[tOruS], though.

>> Of course with extreme reduction, everything may get reduced. Even
>> d's disappear, as I pointed out a while ago. But that doesn't mean
>> they don't exist.
>
> In my experience, all the consonants are always still there, no
> matter how strong the reduction. A voiced lax [d] can become unvoiced
> lax [d-with-circle-underneath] (as is "o descobridor"), but that's
> still different from voiceless tense [t].

Though I really don't know what happened to the d in 'os defesas do
Porto' aka 'ujefesajuport'.

António Marques

unread,
Nov 18, 2005, 5:48:15 PM11/18/05
to
Ruud Harmsen wrote:

>> Yes - I looked for one with [SZ] or [ZS], but couldn't find any.
>
> Jesus [ZzuS]. Doesn't quite count, not the same place of
> articulation.

'Gestacao' [ZSt@s'@~w] when spoken quickly.

António Marques

unread,
Nov 18, 2005, 5:49:38 PM11/18/05
to
Ruud Harmsen wrote:

>> Yes - I looked for one with [SZ] or [ZS], but couldn't find any.
>
> Jesus [ZzuS]. Doesn't quite count, not the same place of
> articulation.

'Gestacao' [ZSt@s'@~w] when spoken quickly.

António Marques

unread,
Nov 18, 2005, 6:14:32 PM11/18/05
to
Ruud Harmsen wrote:

>> Yes - I looked for one with [SZ] or [ZS], but couldn't find any.
>
> Jesus [ZzuS]. Doesn't quite count, not the same place of
> articulation.

'Gestacao' [ZSt@s'@~w] when spoken quickly.

António Marques

unread,
Nov 18, 2005, 6:58:35 PM11/18/05
to
Ekkehard Dengler wrote:

>>>> Do you know anyone for whom toro and touro are the same?
>>> No, I don't; "toro" is ['tO:ru]
>> Excpet when it's [toru].
>
> I don't think I've ever heard "toro" with /o/,

It's how I've always heard it.

> and in any case I doubt that the stressed vowel would be short.

It isn't very long, but I put no length mark there because I think it's
superfluous.

>>> Anyway, the fact remains that there's no such thing as an /ou/
>>> phoneme in either the standard pronunciation or, for that matter,
>>> any regional variety spoken outside the north.
>>
>> There is no /ou/ phoneme. There's /o/ followed by /u/, which is
>> realised distinctively as varieties of [ow] in the north, and less
>> distinctively so tending towards [o] as you walk southwards.
>> However, I don't think it come to merge with plain /o/ in any part
>> of the territory.
>
> The two have certainly merged in standard Portuguese.

No, they have not. Check for misspellings - they're hard to find.

Just because <ou> isn't [ow] south of, say, S. Pedro do Sul (which, for
the uninitiated, is to the NW of Viseu), that doesn't mean it merges
with <o^>. It's always a tad bit more rounded, or longer, or more
closed, or the 3. I admit it may be difficult to hear, but that's the
way it is, it's not may fault.

>> A parallel phenomenon happens with <ei>, though the gradients are

>> different. I don't think 'pêra' and 'beira' merge anywhere.
>
> They've definitely merged in parts of the Alentejo. You must have
> heard the saying "Os alentejanos tiram o <i> do lêti e põem no
> caféi." It's basically true.

Here we may pick up another issue, that of the speakers' preception of
their pronunciation, for one, and of that of others. For all the whole
country cares, Viseu* people substitute [S] for [s] and [Z] for [z]. But
you know that's not correct.

(*) Let alone that laminal sibilants affect the entire NE, not Viseu in
particular.

Maybe there are parts of the Alentejo where they merge; but the usual
phenomenon is
[eji] (very short [i]) ->
[ej] ->
[ej] (with nearly imperceptible glide) ->
something like [ee] ->
tremolo [e:] or something

whereas /e/, even when [e:], doesn't have such a marked tremolo effect.
I admit it may have in places, or that <ei> may lose it, but it's no
simple matter of entering the Alentejo, hearing some kind of [e] for
<ei>, and deciding that <ei> is plain /e/.

Is there an [a] in german dialectal 'wiad' or 'woad'?

>> But unstressed /ou/ is longer than stressed /o/,
>

> In most of the country, it clearly isn't: "estouvado" [Sto.'va:du],
> "estojo" ['Sto:Zu].

_Estojo_ is special by virtue of the /Z/ - it goes all the way from
'estoujo' to 'estoijo'. 'Estofo' is more to the point, and hasn't a
longer vowel than 'estouvado'.

>>>> The greatest reduction of /ou/ I've seen is [o:] (where /o/
>>>> would be [o] - add to that that <ou> remains unchanged in
>>>> unstressed position).
>>
>> For another stressed example, the vowel in manjedoura is different
>> from the one in transportadora.
>
> No, it isn't, for most speakers. In both standard Portuguese and many
> regional varieties, "manjedoura" rhymes with "transportadora".

-our[ao] and -or[ao] words are kept distinct.

Ekkehard Dengler

unread,
Nov 18, 2005, 8:39:06 PM11/18/05
to

António Marques schrieb:

> Ekkehard Dengler wrote:
>
> >>>> Do you know anyone for whom toro and touro are the same?
> >>> No, I don't; "toro" is ['tO:ru]
> >> Excpet when it's [toru].
> >
> > I don't think I've ever heard "toro" with /o/,
>
> It's how I've always heard it.

I'm surprised, but then I'm not really familiar with northern accents.

> > and in any case I doubt that the stressed vowel would be short.
>
> It isn't very long, but I put no length mark there because I think it's
> superfluous.

Not if you're using square brackets and talking about vowel length.

> >>> Anyway, the fact remains that there's no such thing as an /ou/
> >>> phoneme in either the standard pronunciation or, for that matter,
> >>> any regional variety spoken outside the north.
> >>
> >> There is no /ou/ phoneme. There's /o/ followed by /u/, which is
> >> realised distinctively as varieties of [ow] in the north, and less
> >> distinctively so tending towards [o] as you walk southwards.
> >> However, I don't think it come to merge with plain /o/ in any part
> >> of the territory.
> >
> > The two have certainly merged in standard Portuguese.
>
> No, they have not. Check for misspellings - they're hard to find.

Not at all. I know people who spell "estendedouro" with "or", for example.
Try giving dictation to schoolchildren from the south. You'll be surprised.

> Just because <ou> isn't [ow] south of, say, S. Pedro do Sul (which, for
> the uninitiated, is to the NW of Viseu), that doesn't mean it merges
> with <o^>. It's always a tad bit more rounded, or longer, or more
> closed, or the 3. I admit it may be difficult to hear, but that's the
> way it is, it's not may fault.

No, you're mistaken. I'm afraid you're imagining things. For millions of
speakers, <ou> is /o/.

> >> A parallel phenomenon happens with <ei>, though the gradients are
> >> different. I don't think 'pêra' and 'beira' merge anywhere.
> >
> > They've definitely merged in parts of the Alentejo. You must have
> > heard the saying "Os alentejanos tiram o <i> do lêti e põem no
> > caféi." It's basically true.

> whereas /e/, even when [e:], doesn't have such a marked tremolo effect.


> I admit it may have in places, or that <ei> may lose it, but it's no
> simple matter of entering the Alentejo, hearing some kind of [e] for
> <ei>, and deciding that <ei> is plain /e/.

> Is there an [a] in german dialectal 'wiad' or 'woad'?

Sorry?

> >>>> The greatest reduction of /ou/ I've seen is [o:] (where /o/
> >>>> would be [o] - add to that that <ou> remains unchanged in
> >>>> unstressed position).
> >>
> >> For another stressed example, the vowel in manjedoura is different
> >> from the one in transportadora.
> >
> > No, it isn't, for most speakers. In both standard Portuguese and many
> > regional varieties, "manjedoura" rhymes with "transportadora".
>
> -our[ao] and -or[ao] words are kept distinct.

António, I hate to say it, but you're simply wrong.

Regards,
Ekkehard


António Marques

unread,
Nov 18, 2005, 6:15:46 PM11/18/05
to
Ruud Harmsen wrote:

>> Yes - I looked for one with [SZ] or [ZS], but couldn't find any.
>
> Jesus [ZzuS]. Doesn't quite count, not the same place of
> articulation.

'Gestacao' [ZSt@s'@~w] when spoken quickly.

António Marques

unread,
Nov 18, 2005, 6:59:11 PM11/18/05
to
Ekkehard Dengler wrote:

>>>> Do you know anyone for whom toro and touro are the same?
>>> No, I don't; "toro" is ['tO:ru]
>> Excpet when it's [toru].
>

> I don't think I've ever heard "toro" with /o/,

It's how I've always heard it.

> and in any case I doubt that the stressed vowel would be short.

It isn't very long, but I put no length mark there because I think it's
superfluous.

>>> Anyway, the fact remains that there's no such thing as an /ou/

>>> phoneme in either the standard pronunciation or, for that matter,
>>> any regional variety spoken outside the north.
>>

>> There is no /ou/ phoneme. There's /o/ followed by /u/, which is
>> realised distinctively as varieties of [ow] in the north, and less
>> distinctively so tending towards [o] as you walk southwards.
>> However, I don't think it come to merge with plain /o/ in any part
>> of the territory.
>

> The two have certainly merged in standard Portuguese.

No, they have not. Check for misspellings - they're hard to find.

Just because <ou> isn't [ow] south of, say, S. Pedro do Sul (which, for


the uninitiated, is to the NW of Viseu), that doesn't mean it merges
with <o^>. It's always a tad bit more rounded, or longer, or more
closed, or the 3. I admit it may be difficult to hear, but that's the
way it is, it's not may fault.

>> A parallel phenomenon happens with <ei>, though the gradients are

>> different. I don't think 'pêra' and 'beira' merge anywhere.
>
> They've definitely merged in parts of the Alentejo. You must have
> heard the saying "Os alentejanos tiram o <i> do lêti e põem no
> caféi." It's basically true.

Here we may pick up another issue, that of the speakers' preception of


their pronunciation, for one, and of that of others. For all the whole
country cares, Viseu* people substitute [S] for [s] and [Z] for [z]. But
you know that's not correct.

(*) Let alone that laminal sibilants affect the entire NE, not Viseu in
particular.

Maybe there are parts of the Alentejo where they merge; but the usual
phenomenon is
[eji] (very short [i]) ->
[ej] ->
[ej] (with nearly imperceptible glide) ->
something like [ee] ->
tremolo [e:] or something

whereas /e/, even when [e:], doesn't have such a marked tremolo effect.


I admit it may have in places, or that <ei> may lose it, but it's no
simple matter of entering the Alentejo, hearing some kind of [e] for
<ei>, and deciding that <ei> is plain /e/.

Is there an [a] in german dialectal 'wiad' or 'woad'?

>> But unstressed /ou/ is longer than stressed /o/,


>
> In most of the country, it clearly isn't: "estouvado" [Sto.'va:du],
> "estojo" ['Sto:Zu].

_Estojo_ is special by virtue of the /Z/ - it goes all the way from


'estoujo' to 'estoijo'. 'Estofo' is more to the point, and hasn't a
longer vowel than 'estouvado'.

>>>> The greatest reduction of /ou/ I've seen is [o:] (where /o/

>>>> would be [o] - add to that that <ou> remains unchanged in
>>>> unstressed position).
>>

>> For another stressed example, the vowel in manjedoura is different
>> from the one in transportadora.
>

> No, it isn't, for most speakers. In both standard Portuguese and many
> regional varieties, "manjedoura" rhymes with "transportadora".

-our[ao] and -or[ao] words are kept distinct.

Ruud Harmsen

unread,
Nov 19, 2005, 6:13:41 AM11/19/05
to
Fri, 18 Nov 2005 23:58:35 +0000: António Marques <m....@sapo.pt>: in
sci.lang:

>Just because <ou> isn't [ow] south of, say, S. Pedro do Sul (which, for


>the uninitiated, is to the NW of Viseu), that doesn't mean it merges
>with <o^>. It's always a tad bit more rounded, or longer, or more
>closed, or the 3. I admit it may be difficult to hear, but that's the
>way it is, it's not may fault.

I always had the feeling there was some difference too, without being
able to say what. I don't know how much of that is due to expectation
from the spelling. I knew the spelling long before I read about (=
didn't myself discover by listening) the phonetic similarity or
identity of ou and ô in Portuguese.

>(*) Let alone that laminal sibilants affect the entire NE, not Viseu in
>particular.

Meaning there is a difference between paço and passo? Vianna mentioned
that in 1892, for Camões' time and today's (his today, that is)
Trás-os-Montes. http://purl.pt/146, pages 90-93.

===
70. Parece averiguado que há três séculus a pronuncia [sic, não
"pronúncia"; RH] do português de Lisbôa differia da actual nos
sequintes pontos, que deveriam ser tidos em attenção numa leitura
rigorosa do poêma.

I. O s inicial e ss mediaes (saber, passo) differençavam-se do ç ou c
antes de e, i, em que, como ainda hoje em Trás-os-Montes e parte do
Minho e Beiras, eram preferidos com a superficie anterior do ápice da
lingua, aproximando esse ápice, assim cóncavo, das gengivas dos
incisivos superiores, posição que denominámos reversa, o que indicámos
pelo sýmbolo s [com ponto debaixo] isto é, [s longo]. Êste valor do s
mantinha-se-lhe depois de consoante, quando final na pausa, e antes
das consoantes surdas p, t, c, qu, ç, f, x. Portanto o vocábulo p a s
s o era differente de p a ç o, êstes pronunciava-se êstes [não consio
lê-lo exactamente] (V.42).

II. Semelhantemente, z inicial ou medial differençava-se de s sonoro
entre vogaes, em que êste era, como é em Trás-os-Montes e parte do
Minho, um z proferido com os órgãos a mesma posição que fica descrita
para o s inicial (V. p. 47), distinguindo-se conseguintemente o
vocábulo c o s e r ([?????]) do vocábulo c o z e r.
Esta pronuncia do s pode designar-se por s[com ponto debaixo] ou z[com
ponto debaixo]. Êste som tinha igualmente o s antes de consoante
sonora, b, d, g, gu, z, j, v, m, n, nh, r, l, lh, quer dentro de um
vocábulo, quer de um para outro vocábulo, e do mesmo modo o s final na
junção com a vogal inicial sequinte : azarmas [diacritos fonéticas
difícil a ler; RH], e não azarmas = as armas.
O z final, porém, assim como a z interno, muito raro, antes de
consoante surda, proferia-se, o que acontece actualmente em
Trás-os-Montes, como ç; assim paz, luz pállida, luz azul, luz verde,
pronunciavam-se respectivamente: paç, luçpálida, luzazúl, luz(z)vêrde.
===

Ruud Harmsen

unread,
Nov 19, 2005, 6:16:04 AM11/19/05
to
Fri, 18 Nov 2005 23:58:35 +0000: António Marques <m....@sapo.pt>: in
sci.lang:

>Is there an [a] in german dialectal 'wiad' or 'woad'?

(For <wird>?) My German-Dutch Van Dale dictionary write turned a
(Sampa [6]) for all final <r>'s.