Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 12:51:51 -0500
From: Alan Baragona baragonasa[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]VAX.VMI.EDU
Subject: Phonetic transcription--help
X-posted to HEL-L and ADS-L
As a medievalist with the usual peripheral training in linguistics,
mostly historical, I'd like to ask the help of the real linguists and
phoneticians on the list.
The extent of my knowledge of phonetic transcription is the "broad"
method used in textbooks like Pyles and Algeo, which is not always
adequate for dialectical allophones. I have a student with a Texas
accent who, like many Southerners and Westerners, simplifies the
diphthong [ai] (among others). But I can't really transcribe her vowel
as either [a] or [ae]. Her pronunciation of like is not a homophone
of either lock [lak] or lack [laek] but is pretty much smack in the
middle, as if she stops in the middle of the glide or rather sets her
mouth to say the glide but holds the pure vowel. I don't really know how
to transcribe her like without an approximation that doesn't do her
justice and can potentially confuse the class. What do those of you who
really know what you're doing use for this sound?