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View Diary: The Phoneme and the Many Lives It Has Destroyed (15 comments)

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  •  I have heard it said that some languages are sung (1+ / 0-)
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    Some languages are tonal like Chinese. When singing in Chinese Mandarin treats tones differently while Cantonese doesn't. Afro-Asiatic and Amerind languages in particular are also interesting in this regard.

    English, depending on which English we are talking about, might be among the atonal languages which are sung for emphasis as for example spoken with a questioning tone.

    In addition to the sounds we make there is the emphasis we put on the sounds, the tone of voice and the shape or contour of the pitch,  the sequence we put the tones in, whether or not they get reduplicated, the volume at which we are speaking, the rapidity with which we are speaking, and whether the accent of the dialect we are using includes things like a drawl or the proper pronunciation of a word borrowed from another language.

    In language shifts vowel contraction and disappearing consonants can result in very different pronunciations of phonemes over time.

    In studying the genealogy of my surname I have come across at least a dozen different spellings as it moved into and out of Old English and Scottish. The Whi it begins with was early on pronounced as Qhy, Quh, Whea and we.

    Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

    by rktect on Thu May 02, 2013 at 04:37:31 AM PDT

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