Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 10:52:00 -0800 From: Johanna Rubba Subject: Re: Phonetic transcription--help The 'vowel space' -- the empty area of the mouth in which the tongue positions itself for vowel sounds -- allows for very fine gradations, and this often makes it difficult to pin down a vowel. I have terrible difficulty placing my students' mid-lo back rounded/unrounded vowel (an 'open o' for us East-Coasters); I'm convinced it's in between open o and [a]. There is, however, a recognized symbol for a vowel between [ae] and [a]; it is not available on this font. It's the version of the letter that you usually see in print -- the one with the little curl over the little balloon (very technical description, you see). Someone more savvy may actually know the name of this letter. In my experience studying languages and dialects, this vowel is often used to transcribe the French /a/, and the /a/ that occurs in certain r-less dialects, like those of Massachusetts, in words like 'park'. This may be the vowel you want, or close enough anyway. I don't have the reference handy, but there is a well-known set of tapes with accompanying text materials for sounds of the world's languages. Maybe someone else on the list knows of this. A lot of U. libraries carry this, and it could help you identify strange-sounding vowels. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Johanna Rubba Assistant Professor, Linguistics ~ English Department, California Polytechnic State University ~ San Luis Obispo, CA 93407 ~ Tel. (805)-756-2184 E-mail: jrubba[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] ~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~