Author Topic: The dual sounds of "u"  (Read 2509 times)

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Offline omängum fra'uti

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The dual sounds of "u"
« on: May 20, 2010, 03:35:54 pm »
I will be reforming the list of questions from "Combining our efforts" as many of the questions still waiting answer have been answered through other channels, and will send the newly edited list off to Frommer this evening.  However I did get one little tidbit today, in response to the vowel chart I made from Frommer's spoken samples...

We have two pronunciations listed for the letter "u".  That being "u" and "ʊ", with no explanation why.  Well, I have an explanation why.

Open syllables always use a tense "u" pronunciation.  Closed syllables can be either tense "u" or lax "ʊ".  There is no rule for which to use in closed syllables.  So tsun, for example, can be either "tsun" or "tsʊn", but "lu" is always "lu", never "lʊ".
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
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Offline Ftiafpi

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Re: The dual sounds of "u"
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2010, 03:45:29 pm »
oooooo, that explains a lot of weirdness in certain words and how some of my "u's" never seemed correct when compared to some of Frommer's "u's". I do like that "u" can be flexible since, in your example, tsun or tsʊn are distinctly different but both sound good to my ear (I imagine this is, once again, a choice based on speaker preference srak?).

Anyway, fì'u lu txantsan ma oeyä 'eylan, this is a very good tidbit. I feel we're getting pretty close to having almost all the basic pronunciation rules for Na'vi.

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Re: The dual sounds of "u"
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2010, 04:20:03 pm »
I've thought about this. My theory is that [ʊ] was it's own established phoneme like /ì/ STILL is. It simply fused with /u/, as /ì/ might do one day with /i/.

More or less, we are looking at Na'vi linguistic evolution.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2010, 04:22:44 pm by Swoka Swizaw »

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: The dual sounds of "u"
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2010, 04:26:43 pm »
Yes, "u" vs "ʊ" in closed syllables is speaker choice.

Interesting thought about fusing sounds.
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Offline Ftiafpi

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Re: The dual sounds of "u"
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2010, 04:30:52 pm »
I also agree, that's an interesting theory. I know that many bits of Na'vi arose from the actors speaking during filming (such as the vocative -ya) and I wonder if this is the same but I think you might be onto something by thinking that this was deliberate, it certainly seems that way.

Offline Tsuksìm atsawl (KaPTan)

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Re: The dual sounds of "u"
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2010, 04:35:39 pm »
I have no idea how to type that U or how you would pronounce it, can anyone give me some examples pweese?
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Offline kewnya txamew'itan

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Re: The dual sounds of "u"
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2010, 04:40:27 pm »
I have no idea how to type that U or how you would pronounce it, can anyone give me some examples pweese?

I don't know the unicode or anything but it's a near-back near-close rounded vowel and is the oo in foot.
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Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: The dual sounds of "u"
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2010, 04:46:07 pm »
It's the difference between "food" or "good".  You use the u from "food" in open syllables (Syllables that don't have a consonant at the end... Such as in slu, palulukan or meuaniaea) and either when it does have a consonant at the end of the syllable (Like tsun).
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Offline Taronyu

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Re: The dual sounds of "u"
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2010, 05:48:00 pm »
This is awesome!

Sad times that ʊ isn't used anywhere alone, though. Would have liked to go through and systematically destroy my dictionary IPA stuff, haha.

Offline Kì'eyawn

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Re: The dual sounds of "u"
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2010, 10:28:20 pm »
So is ʊ like the "ö" in some languages (e.g. Turkish göz), or the "oe" in French (e.g. coeur)?  Is that the right sound?
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Offline wm.annis

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Re: The dual sounds of "u"
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2010, 10:31:58 pm »
So is ʊ like the "ö" in some languages (e.g. Turkish göz), or the "oe" in French (e.g. coeur)?  Is that the right sound?

Nope.  It's like the "oo" in (American) English "look".  An IPA example with sound file.
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Re: The dual sounds of "u"
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2010, 02:04:53 am »
So, how do the other u sound like? Is it like in german -ung endings?

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: The dual sounds of "u"
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2010, 04:02:43 am »
I don't know German, but wikipedia gives Fuß as a German example.  An American english example would be "food".  (That is the u that must be used with open syllables, and may be used with closed.)
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
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Offline roger

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Re: The dual sounds of "u"
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2010, 04:38:55 am »
There was no quote from Paul, but I assume this is Frommerian?

Offline Plumps

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Re: The dual sounds of "u"
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2010, 05:34:43 am »
I don't know German, but wikipedia gives Fuß as a German example.  An American english example would be "food".  (That is the u that must be used with open syllables, and may be used with closed.)

Could you shortly explain again or direct me to where I can find what an open and closed syllable is? I remember gloomy them being mentioned in my introduction to linguistic classes, but don’t know the specifics anymore…
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Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: The dual sounds of "u"
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2010, 05:41:12 am »
It's the difference between "food" or "good".  You use the u from "food" in open syllables (Syllables that don't have a consonant at the end... Such as in slu, palulukan or meuaniaea) and either when it does have a consonant at the end of the syllable (Like tsun).
That's pretty much it.
Ftxey lu nga tokx ftxey lu nga tirea? Lu oe tìkeftxo.
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Offline wm.annis

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Re: The dual sounds of "u"
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2010, 07:46:51 am »
Could you shortly explain again or direct me to where I can find what an open and closed syllable is?

See this.
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Re: The dual sounds of "u"
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2010, 09:20:30 am »
Could you shortly explain again or direct me to where I can find what an open and closed syllable is?

See this.

Thanks! It’s so easy, how could I have forgotten? :P

Offline 'Oma Tirea

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Re: The dual sounds of "u"
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2010, 11:59:58 pm »
I've thought about this. My theory is that [ʊ] was it's own established phoneme like /ì/ STILL is. It simply fused with /u/, as /ì/ might do one day with /i/.

My theory was this: {ʊ} is an allophone of /u/ in a medial position, and didn't quite separate like {ɪ} and {i} did.

...and one could even wonder how the {ŋ} phoneme evolved, along with others....

More or less, we are looking at Na'vi linguistic evolution.

Srane.  I wonder what the AVATAR guys might say about the phonological history of Na'vi ìlä Na'viyä aynari.
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