Aa / Ee / Ii / Oo / Uu

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Michael, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    What are you doing to me here!

    Lol

    In my defense, I distinctly recall no less than THREE pedagogical "experiments" being run while I was in school.

    1. Learning to read through pronunciation.
    - that was eliminated in favor of:
    2. Learning to read through whole word sight recognition.
    - that was scrapped as we went on to....
    3. Complete elimination of advanced formal grammar and a return to word pronunciation...

    Thank the Gods I got out before ebonics was taught...... wanna, dunno, yaeva... Holy Jesus....


    When I was a child, we learned long vowel as in the names of the letters. Short vowel was a single vowel sound. Other vowel was anything else, and I recall this was a rather large category. I'd have to look them all up. But something like the dipthong "oo" might have went in there or..... the "eye" sound when ae or ey are together (I think).

    I'll try to look around today.
     
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    That's a sort of joke. It's an extreme caricature of the most lazy kind of Australian accent. Having said that, there is some truth to it, since some Australians do have tendancy to leave out the middle of certain words in order to save effort in pronouncing them.

    Thus: Australian -> 'stralian -> 'stryl-yan -> 'strine

    There are numerous published dictionaries of "strine".
     
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  5. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    Here they are!
     
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Uh... "oo" is not a dipthong! The definition of a diphthong is a phoneme in which the vocal organs move while it's being pronounced, so it starts out as one sound but ends up as another. The "ow" in "how" is a diphthong. It starts out as a cardinal A ("ah"), and finishes as a cardinal U ("oo"). The sound transcribed as "oo" (whether it's the "long" oo in "shoot" or the "short" oo in "foot") does not change in the middle! (And as long as I'm in "teacher mode," I hope you understand that the phrase is "might have GONE in there," not "might have WENT in there.")
    I don't even understand the phrase "read through pronunciation." Were you required to read out loud? You should be able to read correctly by third grade, at which time you should be allowed to read silently, which is much faster.

    "Learning to read through whole word sight recognition." Well, at least that makes sense. I would define the goal of teaching a kid to read should be the ability to correctly read aloud a word that has five syllables. (If someone wants to argue that it should be four or six, I won't complain.)

    Once you're sure that he can correlate a written word with the spoken word it represents, then he can be allowed to read on his own. You keep asking him, at regular intervals, to tell you about what he read last night, so you can judge if he's actually understanding what he reads.
    Are you African-American? Nobody teaches Ebonics to Euro-Americans, because they want it to remain their little secret cant--like "Shelta," the mashup of English and Gaelic, spoken by the Irish criminal gangs.
    As I explained earlier, "oo" is a monophthong. Your lips, tongue and other speech apparatus do NOT move while you're pronouncing it. It's the same sound from start to finish.
    Yes, you've got it right. The sound of the pronoun "I" (which is also represented in several other ways, such as, the "AYES" have it, or switch on the "LIGHT") is, indeed a diphthong. It starts as the cardinal A, as in "mama," and finishes as the so-called long E in "me."

    And by the way, "diphthong" has two H's. It's pronounced "dif-thong," not "dip-thong."
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
  8. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    Ah, yes, I probably rewrote an earlier sentence on my phone. That said, while 'gone' sounds correct, what is the actual rule?

    Sorry, what I meant to say was I was originally taught to sound out words, but this fell out of favor and a new pedagogue was used whereby we were taught not to sound out words but to recognize them by sight alone.

    What ever happened to those ebonics classes? Seems insane IMO.

    Oh, I see. Interesting

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  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    "Went" is the past indicative tense of "to go." We say "I went, you went, they went," etc.

    "Gone" is used as an adjective: I forgot to close my bedroom window, and when I came home, my cat was gone.

    But its primary role is as the past participle of "to go." Like any past participle, it must be preceded by an auxiliary verb--or "helping verb" as we used to call them. I have gone. Thou hast gone. He has gone. We have gone. Where have all the flowers gone?
    I'm not a professional teacher, so my opinion doesn't carry a lot of weight. Nonetheless, when we read, almost every one of us turns the printed word into a spoken word in our brains. The reason is obvious: We all learned to speak and understand speech several years before anyone tried to teach us to read!

    I'm curious to know how those poor kids developed--the ones who were taught not to sound out the words in their heads.

    The technology of spoken language was invented around 60,000 years ago, whereas the technology of writing only goes back about 7,000 years. Our species has had a very long time to adapt to spoken communication and become really good at it, whereas reading and writing is relatively new.

    In those early years as children, when we hear people talk and try to imitate them, I guarantee that our brains grow new synapses that make speaking and listening extremely efficient.

    So at age five or six, when kids are encouraged to learn to read and write, you can be sure that those synapses used for oral communication will be adapted to help us learn to read and write, based on what we already know about words and language!
    I never lived in a community where ebonics was formally taught. Even here in Maryland, arguably the most well-racially integrated state in the country, none of the African-Americans I've met had ever encouraged their children to speak African-American Vernacular English--the official name for "ebonics." The last thing they want is yet ANOTHER reason for Euro-Americans to regard them as "different"!

    Nonetheless, to answer your question, I'd say that there is very little formal teaching of ebonics in the USA. It's just not that complicated!
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
  10. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    Pretty interesting. AFAIK the same 'general' areas in the brain the process speech 'understanding' and 'production' also process 'reading comprehension' and 'writing output'. Wernicka's in the temporal lobe and Broca's in the frontal lobe.

    That said, new motor "programs" would have to be developed in the basal nuclei and cerebellum for the act of 'writing'. I'm not sure about 'reading'? Maybe that's processed in Wernicka's together with hearing?
     
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Sure. Reading is simply one of many things we do that depend on efficient visual recognition.
    Well sure, but anyone who has any skill at drawing or any other kind of art probably has a head start on that.
    We have the ability to visually recognize a great many shapes and sizes--even facial expressions and constellations in the sky. I'd expect reading to be simply an addendum to that. And a rather small one at that. Even Chinese with its 5,000 characters (there are many more, but 5,000 are needed to read at university level) is nothing compared to the night sky!
     
  12. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    That is still conjecture.

    My conjecture is that spoken language commenced before the HS-neanderthal and HS-sapien split circa 250,000 to 750,000 years ago (exactly when is unknown). Both likely maintained speech capability, making them very dominant in their respective spheres, eliminating other H species. When they came back together again (circa 70,000 to 30,000 years ago) and mated, their offspring (caucasian, asian, etc.) were still capable of speech.
     
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Obviously, we'll never know for sure.

    However, the rationale for setting the date around 70KYA is that this is when we first find evidence of amazingly complicated, coordinated activities that could not possibly be performed by people who were working with just one hand, as the other was used for sign language.
     
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    In my region the second one is shortened enough to - in some people - essentially disappear (cahm'n).

    Giving them equivalent duration would sound like a foreign accent.
     
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Seems to be a big deal about this 'schwa'. How is it different from a soft 'u'?

    I'm imagining someone trying to pronounce common with a soft u, and it coming out like commuhn, and saying that's wrong.
    Which it would be - if we didn't already have accented and unaccented syllables.

    So: comm'un (with emphasis on comm and not on un) should produce the right pronunciation.
     
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Length. The short U in "cup" or "love" fills a complete short syllable space. The schwa in "open" or "camel" is so shortened that it's really nothing more than letting a little air come out while changing the shape of the vocal organs.
    It is wrong, at least in colloquial speech. Of course no one will say anything about it because it happened too fast to be clearly heard.
    That pronunciation of "common" is perfectly fine, under the right circumstances. If you're giving a speech, or simply a lesson, you're going to lengthen your short vowels a little bit, and you're going to lengthen your schwa by a little bit more.

    But if you're just speaking colloquial American English, you'll shorten your schwa to fit the time it takes to change the shape of your vocal organs.

    If you go around lengthening the schwa in words like "cable" and "integer," people will unconsciously assume that you're either not a native speaker, or else you have a slight impediment.
     
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Try examples that contain more than one syllable, where the 'u' sound is not the accented syllable.
     
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    OK: color, kitchen, maiden, runner, towel, cycle.
     
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Hm. So you're seeing (hearing) a distinction between col´· ŭr and col´· ər ?
    tow´· ŭl and tow´· əl ?
    OK.
     
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    If I understand correctly (this whole "schwa" thing is new to me), the ''schwa" is almost just a gap - a missing vowel.

    Thus, "color, kitchen, runner, towel, cycle" are not usually pronounced as "color, kitchen, runner, towel, cycul", but more like "colr, kitchn, runr, towl, cycl".
     
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    No. I don't even understand what you're talking about. The vowel in the second syllable of these words is spoken so quickly that its only purpose is to allow the speaker's tongue and other vocal organs to change shape from the vowel and consonant(s) in the original syllable to the consonant(s) in the second syllable, with absolutely no emphasis on the schwa that is so short that it's almost impossible to hear it--much less determine what kind of a vowel it is!

    A word like "button" might be a better example, because in this case the schwa-vowel is nasal rather than oral.
     
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Hm. Good example.
     

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