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AlmondFacialBar
1390529.  Tue Sep 21, 2021 12:42 pm Reply with quote

Brock wrote:
It's not a statement about any language, it's a statement about phonology. However, as suze cleverly pointed out, it's incorrect because of the existence of syllabic consonants as in "hmm".

My original point still stands, though: "y" as in Welsh "Pen-y-bont" forms a syllable on its own, and is therefore clearly a vowel, not a consonant.


Slavic languages have a metric fuckton of one consonant syllables (or so I've been led to believe). Also, how you would you categorise the click consonants of the (convenience term) Khoisan languages? IIR my South African Studies C, they definitely can comprise syllables.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Brock
1390536.  Tue Sep 21, 2021 1:20 pm Reply with quote

AlmondFacialBar wrote:
Brock wrote:
It's not a statement about any language, it's a statement about phonology. However, as suze cleverly pointed out, it's incorrect because of the existence of syllabic consonants as in "hmm".

My original point still stands, though: "y" as in Welsh "Pen-y-bont" forms a syllable on its own, and is therefore clearly a vowel, not a consonant.


Slavic languages have a metric fuckton of one consonant syllables (or so I've been led to believe).


Since I've already admitted that my statement was incorrect, I'm not sure what point you're making. Slavic languages do indeed allow syllabic consonants (as my link demonstrates).

Quote:
Also, how you would you categorise the click consonants of the (convenience term) Khoisan languages? IIR my South African Studies C, they definitely can comprise syllables.


Maybe they can; I don't know enough about those languages to be able to say.

 
Pyriform
1390543.  Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:00 pm Reply with quote

PDR wrote:

It's not the number in the inventory so much as the relative frequency of deployment in words and sentences...
PDR


Even then, I am not convinced that Welsh is significantly less vocalic than English. I suppose somebody somewhere has probably done a study on it, but, for example, "It's my fault" in Welsh is, "Fy mai i yw e.", which consists mostly of vowels. I realise one sentence is not much of an indication, but it certainly seems like there are certain words and phrases in Welsh with a high concentration of vowels. It might just be that Welsh happens to use hard consonants such as c, t and ch more frequently than English. By 'ch', I mean the sound represented by that letter in Welsh, which obviously is more frequent in Welsh, since English doesn't use it.

 
Pyriform
1390544.  Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:14 pm Reply with quote

crissdee wrote:

As for the words in this joke, Sarnbigog appears to be a place (barely), Gwyll...gwyn is obviously nonsense, and llongyfarchiadau is Welsh for 'congratulations', and with 13* Welsh letters is slightly shorter than it's English equivalent.

* Or probably 14, thinking about it. From its etymology and pronunciation, I think this is an unusual case where 'ng' really is two letters, rather than one.


Last edited by Pyriform on Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
Brock
1390545.  Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:17 pm Reply with quote

I think the problem for English speakers who don't know Welsh is that they can confuse consonant symbols with consonant sounds. Seeing Welsh written down with only a knowledge of English orthography, you might easily think that it contains a lot of consonants, because "w" and "y" are normally consonant symbols in English, and "ch", "dd", "ff", "ll" etc. look like double consonants when they're in reality single consonants. But it's not like that.

At least Welsh doesn't contain silent consonants as English does. One might imagine a non-English speaker looking at a word like "Knightsbridge" and wondering how on earth we can possibly pronounce it!

And for a language that really is full of pointless silent consonants, you only need to look at Scots Gaelic...

 
Jenny
1390550.  Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:02 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Brock wrote:
A consonant can't form a syllable on its own.


Hmm.


Also Shhhh.

Sh is actually a legal Scrabble word these days.

 
Pyriform
1390553.  Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:06 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
suze wrote:
Brock wrote:
A consonant can't form a syllable on its own.


Hmm.


Also Shhhh.

Sh is actually a legal Scrabble word these days.

Tsk!

 
AlmondFacialBar
1390554.  Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:08 pm Reply with quote

Brock wrote:
I think the problem for English speakers who don't know Welsh is that they can confuse consonant symbols with consonant sounds. Seeing Welsh written down with only a knowledge of English orthography, you might easily think that it contains a lot of consonants, because "w" and "y" are normally consonant symbols in English, and "ch", "dd", "ff", "ll" etc. look like double consonants when they're in reality single consonants. But it's not like that.

At least Welsh doesn't contain silent consonants as English does. One might imagine a non-English speaker looking at a word like "Knightsbridge" and wondering how on earth we can possibly pronounce it!

And for a language that really is full of pointless silent consonants, you only need to look at Scots Gaelic...


Could be worse, just check out its sister this side of the Irish Sea. Care to hazard a guess how the combination dbh is pronounced?

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
suze
1390560.  Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:38 pm Reply with quote

Brock wrote:
At least Welsh doesn't contain silent consonants as English does. One might imagine a non-English speaker looking at a word like "Knightsbridge" and wondering how on earth we can possibly pronounce it!

And for a language that really is full of pointless silent consonants, you only need to look at Scots Gaelic...


I think Irish may have even more silent letters than Scottish Gaelic does. One classic example is the verb form bhfaigheadh which is pronounced much like the English word why. The Irish government does go around abolishing silent letters from time to time, for which reason Ireland does not have a political party called Fianna Faghbhail.

Thai has an inordinate number of silent letters too, for at least two reasons. One is the large number of Sanskrit words which have been borrowed into Thai. Sanskrit words usually end with a vowel just as Italian words do, but that is not the way in Thai and hence the final vowel is usually silent. You may remember the Thai politician whose name is usually written as Thaksin Shinawatra, now living in exile in Dubai. His second name was pronounced as though it were Shinawat, and that sort of thing is common.

Another is Thailand's rather medieval take on lèse majesté. On pain of death no one is allowed to tell the King that characters which have been silent for five hundred years should perhaps be struck from royal names and titles, and so there are plenty of them.

At the other extreme we have Icelandic, which has invisible letters! As one example, the Icelandic name for their country is Ísland - but there is an unwritten /t/ sound and the name is pronounced something like "Eastlant".

 
ali
1390561.  Tue Sep 21, 2021 5:07 pm Reply with quote

Brock wrote:
I think the problem for English speakers who don't know Welsh is that they can confuse consonant symbols with consonant sounds. Seeing Welsh written down with only a knowledge of English orthography, you might easily think that it contains a lot of consonants, because "w" and "y" are normally consonant symbols in English, and "ch", "dd", "ff", "ll" etc. look like double consonants when they're in reality single consonants. But it's not like that.

At least Welsh doesn't contain silent consonants as English does. One might imagine a non-English speaker looking at a word like "Knightsbridge" and wondering how on earth we can possibly pronounce it!

And for a language that really is full of pointless silent consonants, you only need to look at Scots Gaelic...


As far as silent consonants go, try Hmong.

 
crissdee
1390669.  Wed Sep 22, 2021 4:24 pm Reply with quote

On my way down to Swansea today (see "How Was Your Day" if you care why I was going there) we passed a fast food van called.....

"Only Food and Sauces"

Which took me rather longer than it should to understand....

 
PDR
1390670.  Wed Sep 22, 2021 4:40 pm Reply with quote

AlmondFacialBar wrote:

Care to hazard a guess how the combination dbh is pronounced?


Is it "Throatwarbler-Mangrove"?

PDR

 
AlmondFacialBar
1390671.  Wed Sep 22, 2021 4:48 pm Reply with quote

Because somebody had to, right? Also, no.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
AlmondFacialBar
1390672.  Wed Sep 22, 2021 4:55 pm Reply with quote

As someone says in the comments - I wish the techs had thought to turn on a smoke machine for the resurrection:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBbRTRBY4D4

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
PDR
1390677.  Wed Sep 22, 2021 6:26 pm Reply with quote

AlmondFacialBar wrote:
Because somebody had to, right? Also, no.

:-)


You know how I hate to disappoint...

PDR

 

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