Date: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 20:45:43 -0500 From: Alan Baragona Subject: Re: Phonetic transcription--help I think, as has been suggested, that the [a] now on the Pyles/Algeo flyleaf (the 1989 revision of the IPA) is pretty much this sound between [ae] and script-a, but I kind of like Edwin Duncan's use of a superscript schwa. It's interesting to a none linguist to find such matters still in flux, and I know my students are going to love reading these posts, especially the picture of Mary with her fingers in her mouth. Thanks. This has been very interesting. Alan B. At 05:51 PM 1/28/98 CST, Breland, Mary wrote: >The vowel Alan Baragona described sounds to me like one I have in my >phonological system as a result of growing up in Mississippi. In my >family, we referred to it as "flat-I" and used it as a shibboleth to >distinguish between TV characters who were "real Southerners" and those who >were "fake ." When I was learning IPA transcription (using a book by Pyles >and Algeo) I was quite frustrated by the absence of a symbol to represent >the sound I produced. I have both the diphthong [ai] and "flat-I" in my >speech. The diphthong occurs before voiceless consonants in words such as >"light" [lait], "wife" [waif], "rice" [rais], etc.; flat-I occurs before >voiced consonants and in open syllables "lied," "hive," "rise," etc. I >couldn't figure out a way to represent both sounds in transcribing my own >speech. The closest representation I could come up with was [a:] to >represent a lengthened monophthong, but I was not happy with it because it >seemed to indicate something lower and farther back than what I believed I >produced. I spent a good bit of time with my fingers in my mouth trying to >find out what was going on in there. I decided, finally, that we had come >up with the name "flat-I" because the tongue is held still and "flat," >almost level or straight rather than raised or lowered very much like the >mid-central lax vowel "uh" represented by a schwa but the mouth is more open >than for "uh. " But there's more to it than tongue position; the lips are >involved, also. The corners of the mouth, particularly the lower lip, are >tensed and pulled out to the sides and slightly up as for [ae] and [i]. I >finally settled on using an "upside-down a" to represent an open mid-central >spread vowel. >