Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Birdsong

Birdsong

In hours of early morning
Sweet songs of birds ring.
But what do they sing?
What message do they bring?

I can only ponder
For I have no answer.
I listen a little longer
To their works of wonder.

Sometimes their notes grow louder,
Then longer and higher.
Other times their notes are shorter,
Lower and quieter.

I listen carefully this morning
To their sweet singing.
I love to start my morning
With sounds of vibrant spring.

My poem is written in the first person. The poem consists of four stanzas with four verses- quatrains. The verses of each stanza rhyme. Birdsong expresses the beauty of birdsong on a spring morning.

Voiced Consonants of Southern Norwegian Dialects

In the dialects of the southern part of Norway, intervocalic and word-final consonants following a vowel become voiced. The plosives /p/, /t/ and /k/ become /b/, /d/ and /g/. Intervocalic voicing also occurs in Danish, but in word-final position, Danish does not voice as in the dialects of southern Norway.

In most of Norway, the following words have voiceless plosives:

ape (monkey)
kake (cake)
pute (pillow)

bok (book)
mat (food)
skip (ship)

In the south of Norway, i.e., Stavanger and Kristiansand, speakers have voiced plosives intervocalically and word-finally. This can be viewed as both a voicing assimilation and neutralization. The intervocalic plosive becomes voiced like the vowels that precede and follow and like the vowels that precede word-finally. This is also neutralization because the distinction between voiced and voiceless plosives is lost.

Word-final plosives only voice when they are preceded by a vowel. If they are preceded by a consonant, no voicing occurs. Examples include melk (milk), urt (herb) and damp (steam).

Most Norwegians preserve the distinction between voiced and voiceless consonants in all positions. However, in the dialects of southern Norway, only voiced consonants occur intervocalically and word-finally following a vowel. This can be classified as both assimilation and neutralization.



Monday, June 18, 2018

Intervocalic T-Glottalization

A number of English speakers have intervocalic T-glottalization. This can be heard in many British speakers including London, western England and Scotland. Cockney is a dialect which is well-known for intervocalic T-glottalization. Of the Caribbean dialects, Barbadian English also has intervocalic T-glottalization. Though avoided in careful speech, intervocalic T-glottalization appears to be spreading.

T-glottalization is a form of lenition and a subclass of debuccalization. The glottal stop shares the same manner of articulation as the voiceless alveolar plosive and agrees with it in voice. Though not all English speakers apply T-glottalization intervocalically, it is very common before nasals as in button and cotton and also very common word-finally as in cat and hot.

The process of T-glottalization is most common before a stressed vowel. For example, it occurs in water but less frequently in society. T-glottalization does not occur before stressed vowels such as return.

Though intervocalic T-glottalization is associated with British English, it also occurs in Barbadian English. Intervocalic T-glottalization appears to be spreading. It is most common in younger speakers. T-glottalization is a sound change which can be classified as lenition.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Fusion in English Verbs

Many English speakers exhibit fusion in the pronunciation of English verbs with y and ing. Fusion reduces the number of syllables of the word. This process can also be analyzed as deletion of the y before the suffix -ing. Here is a list of verbs which can undergo fusion:

carry
copy
marry
study
tidy

In the following sentences fusion is possible:

He's carrying a lot of books.
Stop copying me!
Who is she marrying?
I've been studying for hours.
She's tidying her room.

The final vowel of the base verb is tense and the first vowel of the suffix -ing is lax. Fusion results in one lax vowel. However, this may also be analyzed as deletion of the tense vowel of the base. If the base verb is monosyllabic, fusion does not occur. For example, in the sentence They're skiing, the word skiing is disyllabic. In skiing, the final vowel of the base is stressed. In words such as carry, marry and study, the final vowel of the base verb is unstressed.

The process of fusion reduces the number of syllables in certain English verbs. The final vowel of the base and the first vowel of the suffix -ing fuse. An alternative analysis of this process is deletion, which states that the first of the two vowels is deleted. Fusion changes the CVVC sequence of the final vowel of the base and the suffix to CVC.

Friday, June 15, 2018

H-Dropping in English Pronouns

Though h-dropping is not associated with varieties of English such as RP, Scottish, Irish, Canadian and American, it is nevertheless common with pronouns. Speakers of all dialects tend to drop the h of pronouns, especially in casual conversation. Here are examples in which h-dropping is common with all speakers:

Is he coming?
Do you know her?
Have you seen him?
Can you please tell her?
Is that his bag?
If I see him, I'll tell you.
I was with him yesterday.
I'll give it to her sister.
I wish he could come.
I'll see her tonight.

Notice that the pronouns in the examples are not sentence-initial. In sentence-initial position, h-dropping does not occur in the English of those who usually don't exhibit h-dropping . The same is true when the pronoun occurs in isolation as in Who did you give it to? Her.

H-dropping is common with English pronouns. However, with speakers who don't practise h-dropping in all words, this does not occur when the pronouns are sentence initial or in isolation. H-dropping of pronouns is especially common in casual conversation.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Daffodils

William Wordsworth was an English romantic poet. One of his most famous poems is Daffodils. Here it is:

Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay;
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on the couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

The poem is written in iambic tetrameter. Each of the four stanzas ends with a rhyming couplet. William Wordsworth's poem Daffodils is a testament to the beauty of nature.


Sunday, June 10, 2018

L-vocalization in English

L-vocalization refers to the process in which the lateral approximant becomes a vowel. In English this occurs with syllable-final velarized lateral approximants. Though L-vocalization is not considered standard in English pronunciation, it occurs in a number of dialects.

L-vocalization is a feature of Cockney, Estuary English, New Zealand English, Australian English, New York English, Pittsburgh English and Philadelphia English. It is more common in New Zealand English than in Australian. It is also common in the English of African-Americans. Dialects which lack the velarized lateral lateral such as Irish English and Jamaican English also lack L-vocalization.

Speakers with L-vocalization replace the lateral with the high back or mid back vowel.  The phonological process of L-vocalization is not restricted to English. It is common in Brazilian Portuguese as well as in dialects of German and Dutch.

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