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 Post subject: The linguists club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:37 pm 
Nailed to the V
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ok guys let's have fun with our good old friends: The Phonemes!

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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:43 pm 
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First question: are there any phonemes in you first language that a nightmares for foreigners/ learners?

(sub question: is there one of them in your name or any of your "introducing oneself" word?)

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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:52 pm 
Mispronounces Daiya
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My first name (Raphaëlle) gives non-French people nightmares apparently. Not even so much the French R as the /a/+/e/, which is more surprising. I've been called Rafelle, Raphawelle, Rafouelle, Raphayelle, Rap' haelle (that was Korea, no /f/ sound!) and recently, Rafale, which is oddly suiting as I work for an aircraft manufacturer.

And my trema is an administrative disaster abroad.


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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:23 pm 
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My first language is English (and I study Korean, Spanish, and a small smattering of a few other languages), so "th" (both sounds) and "r"/"l" are pretty horrible for some foreign learners. And like aelle mentioned, "f" is also hard for Koreans! Oh, and "v".

My name is Kristy, which is a bit awkward in Korean. It turns out like "keu-ri-seu-ti" (그리스티), because there must be vowels between most consonants.

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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:48 pm 
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I maybe screamed YES in my head when I saw that this thread had been started (in my head cause my cousin's in my room and she already has to put up with me repeatedly playing bits of Songhay). Of course, I really should go away until the end of the week cause I have my first field report on Songhay due tomorrow and it's taking me forever. I've probably typed less than half of it, since it's on the phonemic inventory and tone/intonantion system (in terms of how it interacts with the definiteness of a word).

English is my only native language, but I grew up with some sounds of Hebrew, so /x/ which most people who didn't grow up with it can't pronounce.

Right now, I'm being killed by palatals in Songhay since none of my languages have palatals. Is it a stop, fricative or affricate????? Thank goodness for Praat, or else I would never know. But that means combing through hours of recordings to find the 10 seconds of a word I need to verify.

One of the chefs in the kitchen at my job is Chinese and he can't say my name. He replaces the ʃ with s.

Are there any other syntactitians here?

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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:59 pm 
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Swedish has a phoneme with no IPA symbol... A closed sort of near-front, rounded vowel. Hard to describe. It's how we say the letter u. I also think the fricative /ɕ/ is fairly uncommon in other languages (some have it, Mandarin comes to mind).


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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:10 pm 
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adventuresoflandooe wrote:
One of the chefs in the kitchen at my job is Chinese and he can't say my name. He replaces the ʃ with s.

Swedish doesn't have /z/ so many will ignore it and just say /s/, also most Swedes can't seem to pronounce /tʃ/ which I tend to find very annoying (I have it in my dialect). Hence you get the same pronunciation for eyes and ice, cheap and sheep.


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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:20 pm 
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I should say in terms of my dialect, I'm from the Northeast and have very few vowel mergers. So /ɔ/ and /ɑ/ are totally different for me, but I know way too many people who have the merger and can only hear the difference if I do a really over exaggerated NY accent.

Also, I say /flɑɹɪdə/ and /ɑɹənʤ/

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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:38 pm 
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My girlfriend is Korean, and in addition to all the usual problems (r and l, p and b and f and v), she also has problems with z, which I find kind of surprising for some reason. We're watching The Walking Dead right now, so there's a lot of talk about jombies. Strangely, she has no problem with th, and that shiitake is supposed to be marked. You had one job, th!

Meanwhile, I suck at most of the double consonants and some of the aspirated consonants, and especially the distinction between ㅈ, ㅉand ㅊ . A lot of the diphthongs are a problem. Plus 'eo'. Also, I just generally suck at Korean. Man, I'm trying to deal with all the counting words right now. When you count animals you use ma-ri, myeong with people, and that's causing me serious distress as a vegan, because animals are people!

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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:04 pm 
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I'm currently learning Swedish and am having serious business trouble with the number seven "sju". Chwoo? I'm learning mainly with an audiocourse in the car and I'm a good enough mimic and linguist to analyse my way through the sounds, but the number seven bakes my noodle.

adventuresoflandooe wrote:
Are there any other syntactitians here?
I can hold my own with syntax, but phonotactics is pure funsies.

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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:35 pm 
Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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Gulliver wrote:
I'm currently learning Swedish and am having serious business trouble with the number seven "sju". Chwoo? I'm learning mainly with an audiocourse in the car and I'm a good enough mimic and linguist to analyse my way through the sounds, but the number seven bakes my noodle.

Fun with Swedish sh-sounds! Are you trying to say /ɧ/? The pronunciation of "sju" varies depending on where you're from. Up here in the north it's /ʂ/ which is sorta close to /ʃ/ only a bit further back. Put the tip of your tongue just behind the alveolar ridge. (Wow these things are so much easier to explain in person!) I think my pronunciation might actually be a /ʃ/. The vowel is /ʉ̟ː/ which I tried to explain earlier. Between /y/ and /ʉ/ I'd say. The closest English word to how to say "sju" in Swedish would probably be "shoo".


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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:49 pm 
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Gulliver wrote:
adventuresoflandooe wrote:
Are there any other syntactitians here?
I can hold my own with syntax, but phonotactics is pure funsies.


I feel the opposite. Writing my final paper for advanced syntax last semester was a lot of fun. I basically just got to talk to my friends about Hebrew. In contrast, I wanted to die a little bit working on my transcription project. I was so beat after spending at least 6 hours or more measuring and remeasuring formants (for Norwegian vowels) and I still had a month left of school. Definitely not enjoying revisiting that for this project.

fruitbat wrote:
Gulliver wrote:
I'm currently learning Swedish and am having serious business trouble with the number seven "sju". Chwoo? I'm learning mainly with an audiocourse in the car and I'm a good enough mimic and linguist to analyse my way through the sounds, but the number seven bakes my noodle.

Fun with Swedish sh-sounds! Are you trying to say /ɧ/? The pronunciation of "sju" varies depending on where you're from. Up here in the north it's /ʂ/ which is sorta close to /ʃ/ only a bit further back. Put the tip of your tongue just behind the alveolar ridge. (Wow these things are so much easier to explain in person!) I think my pronunciation might actually be a /ʃ/. The vowel is /ʉ̟ː/ which I tried to explain earlier. Between /y/ and /ʉ/ I'd say.


I may or may not be sitting with an IPA chart next to me. One of my (many) distractions today has been trying to make a /ɧ/.

Also, if I knew how to post pictures, I would totally post some Songhay spectrograms for you!

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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:02 pm 
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Such a lovely thread.

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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:12 pm 
Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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adventuresoflandooe wrote:
I may or may not be sitting with an IPA chart next to me. One of my (many) distractions today has been trying to make a /ɧ/.

SO hard to explain! You make a hole in the middle of your mouth? Make like you were to say /x/ and then try to say /ʃ/ instead. I think I cup my tongue a bit?


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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:19 pm 
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I was a phonology and phonetics guy in grad school. (My Master's thesis was "Sahaptin Ejection and the Fortis/Lenis Distinction.")

I would like to study Korean formally and I'm thinking of hiring a tutor. I already know I have trouble with the Korean "L" (at the end of a word, I mean). My goal isn't to sound like a native (would never happen), but just to be able to say stuff without people glaring at me. If I could speak passably but always sounded like a foreigner, I'm fine with that.

I can only speak English, but I've studied (to a greater or lesser degree) Russian, German, Latin, Ancient Greek, Old English, Sanskrit, and Finnish.

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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:46 pm 
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awesomesauce.
my name in japan was basically an impossibility. in portuguese it isn't much better.

my current fist-shaking endeavor is different evolutions of sounds from latin->spanish and latin->portuguese. specifically the different evolutions that are an R in one language and an L in the other [sp plata, silver, pt prata, silver.]--- after wrapping my head around Japanese, it is just plain cruel that there is L/R confusion between these two languages.

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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:42 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
Sahaptin Ejection and the Fortis/Lenis Distinction.

NEW BAND NAME called it.

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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:28 pm 
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I just wanted to share that I've been working on this field report for so long that I started to tell my cousin that I had intervocalic guac, rather than in my quesadilla. -_-


Slogging on!

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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:43 pm 
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Got into a discussion on LJ the other day about Korean grammar. Does anyone know how difficult it is? Like,
on the scale
of
German/Icelandic/Welsh---- French/Spanish/Catalan----English/Chinese

where would you put it difficulty-wise?

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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:56 pm 
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My first languages are English and Hebrew. Native Hebrew speakers have a really hard time with words like "squirrel," which they pronounce "skvirl." A lot of difficulty with the "w" sound in general, but especially in combination with other consonants.

In Hebrew, there are so many hard sounds it's hard to count them all. Ch (like chanukah, challah) or kh (Tanakh) are really hard. Ayin is impossible (it's like a silence that comes from the back of your throat). The long "o" is difficult because it doesn't end in an "oo" sound like the English "o" generally does. There are also a lot of consonant combinations at the beginning of words that don't happen in English and while there is technically a vowel needed between them in Hebrew, that vowel has mostly disappeared from common speech so the consonants get slurred.


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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:00 pm 
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Hebrew sounds so awesome. I'd love to learn it.

I'm ill and spent the day in bed mostly. The first 3 hours were spent reading a Welsh grammar book...

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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:06 pm 
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VeganinBerlin wrote:
Got into a discussion on LJ the other day about Korean grammar. Does anyone know how difficult it is? Like,
on the scale
of
German/Icelandic/Welsh---- French/Spanish/Catalan----English/Chinese

where would you put it difficulty-wise?
The language I've most often heard it compared to is Japanese. The American FSI scale puts it as a grade 3 language, meaning that it's quite difficult for native English speakers. That's grammar and vocabulary, though and I have no idea what it's like purely grammar-wise.

Also, judging a language's ease of learning purely on its grammar is claptrap. You also have to learn a few thousand words to use that grammar with, so a language nearer to one you already speak is in many ways easier than one with a "simpler" grammar.

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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:12 pm 
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Oh, I know it's not just about the grammar. It's just that I was wondering where Korean was grammar-wise as I wondered if it'd be easier than Chinese was for me. Chinese grammar was easy, at least for the "basic" stuff, but pronounciation and writing was horribly difficult. Japanese pronounciation is much easier but the writing is still problematic and the grammar is much more difficult. I was just curious to see where Korean fit in there.

The only grammar I studied that I found difficult was Icelandic, Finnish and Welsh so far. I think because most of the time it's because it just seems easier than my mother tongue German.

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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:12 pm 
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I will say this about Korean grammar: it would be much easier if Koreans would just be a little bit ruder.

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 Post subject: Re: The linguists club
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:40 pm 
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And if you didn't need to know what year someone was born.

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