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Re: buffer vowel
On Wed, 15 Nov 1995 10:36:18 GMT Don Wiggins said:
>> But the poor people can't say
>> even that, they actually say KXY,LUO,DI,YA (Ke4Luo2Di4Ya4), and the
>> two-syllable long name of my city, Zagreb, that even the English
>> speaking folk pronounce without any difficulty, Chinese translate into
>> SA,GY,LY,BU (Sa4Ge4Le4Bu4), a four-syllable name.
>These problems are related to the Chinese writing system rather than their
>ablity to pronounce consonant clusters. As you are probably aware, Chinese
>is a monosyllablic language and the ideographic system exploits this property.
More to the point, just because foreign words and names are made to
conform with the phonology of Chinese when they are used in Chinese
speech doesn't mean that the Chinese speakers that utter them are
necessarily incapable of pronouncing them in a different fashion.
When I'm speaking Bulgarian, I always call the river that flows
through London /'temza/. It's not that I find the /T/ sound hard
to pronounce (and I have no problem saying /D@ 'TeImz/ when I'm
speaking English), and it has nothing to do with the Bulgarian
writing system either; it's just that it makes sense for words
which occur in Bulgarian speech to conform with Bulgarian phonology.
For the same reason Russian word-final palatalised consonants (as in
_Gogol'_) are depalatalised in Bulgarian, although they could be
written as palatalised if that were absolutely necessary.
And of course Chinese Lojbanists will be expected to learn to pronounce
a great lot of things that don't happen in Chinese, but are common in
other languages that they will probably have encountered.