[j] vs [i̯]

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[j] vs [i̯]

Post by GamerGeek » Fri 19 May 2017, 21:59

In Old English, there is a word, haliġ (holy) pronounced: /halij/; but to my understanding, /j/ = [i̯], and /ii̯/ is just [iː]
What's the difference?
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Re: [j] vs [i̯]

Post by sangi39 » Fri 19 May 2017, 22:35

GamerGeek wrote:In Old English, there is a word, haliġ (holy) pronounced: /halij/; but to my understanding, /j/ = [i̯], and /ii̯/ is just [iː]
What's the difference?
From what I can remember, the primary difference between [j] and is down to an relatively narrower gap between the blade of the tongue and the palate in the production of [j], almost to the point of causing a turbulent airstream to form that is wholly absent from . At least for me it's easier to notice the different when producing sequences like [ji] where you can feel the blade of the tongue pull away from the palate slightly as you transition from [j] to .

As for [j] vs. [i̯], I seem to recall that this is a) partly a matter of transcription and b) partly a matter of the phonology of specific languages.

For example, in some languages vowels (and by extension diphthongs) in closed syllables are short while those in open syllables are long. We might then, for example, find an example like /kai/ [ka:i̯] vs. /kaj/ [kaj]. There might no be anything phonetically distinct between [i̯] and [j] in these words, but for the sake of consistent representation of the processes resulting in the different surface forms two different representations appear (you kind of see the same thing in transcriptions of Danish with [d̥] being phonetically equivalent to [t], but writers have chosen to use the former over the later to show the relationship to the other allophones of /d/, namely [ð̞ˠ̠]).
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Re: [j] vs [i̯]

Post by GrandPiano » Fri 19 May 2017, 22:45

In many cases, [j] is phonetically equivalent to a very short, non-syllabic . However, like sangi said, there is sometimes a narrower gap between the tongue and the palate in the articulation of [j], especially in [ji] or [ij], where [j] is adjacent to . The same can be said about and [w], [y] and [ɥ], and [ɯ] and [ɰ].
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Re: [j] vs [i̯]

Post by qwed117 » Fri 19 May 2017, 23:03

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Re: [j] vs [i̯]

Post by GamerGeek » Fri 19 May 2017, 23:04

What was that?
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Re: [j] vs [i̯]

Post by Creyeditor » Fri 19 May 2017, 23:05

GrandPiano wrote:In many cases, [j] is phonetically equivalent to a very short, non-syllabic . However, like sangi said, there is sometimes a narrower gap between the tongue and the palate in the articulation of [j] [...]

So true. Also, just to make it clear. This can be language specific.
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Re: [j] vs [i̯]

Post by GamerGeek » Sat 20 May 2017, 18:58

Do any languages contrast [j] and [i̯] phonemically?
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Re: [j] vs [i̯]

Post by Sumelic » Sat 20 May 2017, 19:14

I would guess it exists somewhere. Spanish has something that comes close, /ʝ/ vs. /i̯/. There is some neutralization and interchange between the sounds; for example, the singular "rey" has /i̯/ while the plural "reyes" has /ʝ/. They are only constrastive in most varieties after other consonants, if I remember correctly.
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Re: [j] vs [i̯]

Post by HinGambleGoth » Sun 21 May 2017, 11:55

Sumelic wrote:I would guess it exists somewhere. Spanish has something that comes close, /ʝ/ vs. /i̯/. There is some neutralization and interchange between the sounds; for example, the singular "rey" has /i̯/ while the plural "reyes" has /ʝ/. They are only constrastive in most varieties after other consonants, if I remember correctly.
Swedish, at least the standard pronunciation has free variation between /ʝ/ and /j/ mostly depending on the closeness of the following vowel and how stressed the word is. You can have both realizations in the same sentence without it being marked in any way. /v/ behaves in the same way.

But then again you can analyze Swedish as lacking voiced fricatives altogether, only being alophones of approximants in energetic pronunciation or intervocalic realizations of voiced stops. Some Germanic languages/dialects are generally analyzed this way, like Swiss German or danish.
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Re: [j] vs [i̯]

Post by Xonen » Mon 22 May 2017, 12:31

GamerGeek wrote:In Old English, there is a word, haliġ (holy) pronounced: /halij/; but to my understanding, /j/ = [i̯], and /ii̯/ is just [iː]
What's the difference?
In Old English specifically, short /i/ was almost certainly phonetically somewhat centralized (perhaps especially in unstressed positions), so /ij/ would have been pronounced [ɪj]. Which, as others have pointed out, may or may not be the same thing as [ɪi̯].

Or, to quote myself from an old post:
[j w] are [...] either equivalent to the close vowels [i̯ u̯], or even closer (the definition of semivowel is apparently somewhat vague in this respect, so the symbols [j w] can represent slightly different sounds in different languages).

sangi39 wrote:As for [j] vs. [i̯], I seem to recall that this is a) partly a matter of transcription and b) partly a matter of the phonology of specific languages.
Right. Since I already looked up that old post of mine, I'll repost the example I used then:
For semivowels such as [j w] / [i̯ u̯] - i.e. sounds that most people would agree can be classified as either vowels or consonants - it depends on how they seem to behave in the phonological and/or morphophonological system of the language.

For example, in Hungarian, words like tej [tɛ̞i̯] 'milk' behave as if their stems ended in a consonant; a connecting vowel is inserted before certain endings (as in the accusative form tejet), which is never done for stems ending in a vowel. By contrast, in Finnish, words like täi [tæi̯] 'louse' behave like vowel-stems; the genitive/accusative of this one, for instance, is täin instead of *täjen or whatever (Finnish traditionally doesn't even permit word-final consonant clusters at all). Hence, even though the two words here are phonetically almost identical, it makes sense to analyze the Hungarian one phonemically as ending in a consonant (/tɛj/), and the Finnish one as ending in a vowel (/tæi/).
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Re: [j] vs [i̯]

Post by Adarain » Mon 22 May 2017, 23:30

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But then again you can analyze Swedish as lacking voiced fricatives altogether, only being alophones of approximants in energetic pronunciation or intervocalic realizations of voiced stops. Some Germanic languages/dialects are generally analyzed this way, like Swiss German or danish.
Most analyses of Swiss German I see (including my own) disregard voicing as distinctive in the first place. /z ʒ/ are most certainly not a thing (not even allophonically like in Standard German), /ʋ~v/ is pretty much the only debatable phoneme when it comes to a voicing distinction. I claim it’s more approximanty, and all approximants are voiced in neutral position (I think they may devoice sometimes, e.g. in clusters with plosives).
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Re: [j] vs [i̯]

Post by GamerGeek » Mon 22 May 2017, 23:36

Adarain wrote:

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But then again you can analyze Swedish as lacking voiced fricatives altogether, only being alophones of approximants in energetic pronunciation or intervocalic realizations of voiced stops. Some Germanic languages/dialects are generally analyzed this way, like Swiss German or danish.
That should be a quote.
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Re: [j] vs [i̯]

Post by GrandPiano » Tue 23 May 2017, 05:02

Xonen wrote:In Old English specifically, short /i/ was almost certainly phonetically somewhat centralized (perhaps especially in unstressed positions), so /ij/ would have been pronounced [ɪj].
Just out of curiosity, what is the evidence for this?
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Re: [j] vs [i̯]

Post by GamerGeek » Tue 23 May 2017, 05:32

GrandPiano wrote:
Xonen wrote:In Old English specifically, short /i/ was almost certainly phonetically somewhat centralized (perhaps especially in unstressed positions), so /ij/ would have been pronounced [ɪj].
Just out of curiosity, what is the evidence for this?
There really isn't any.
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Re: [j] vs [i̯]

Post by Xonen » Tue 23 May 2017, 12:32

GrandPiano wrote:
Xonen wrote:In Old English specifically, short /i/ was almost certainly phonetically somewhat centralized (perhaps especially in unstressed positions), so /ij/ would have been pronounced [ɪj].
Just out of curiosity, what is the evidence for this?
Well, for starters, the fact that short (close) vowels are phonetically lax in most modern Germanic languages and most modern dialects of English. It's possible, of course, that this is simply a coincidence, but Occam's razor suggests that this was already the case in Proto-Germanic. Also, Vulgar Latin [e] seems to have been substituted with short /i/ in some loanwords, but since I just heard this at a conference last week, it might not be quite the scientific consensus yet.

For the unstressed bit, I'll admit I'm guessing, but there seems to be a common tendency for that to happen even in languages where there is otherwise fairly little allophonic variation, such as Finnish and Italian:
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Re: [j] vs [i̯]

Post by GrandPiano » Thu 25 May 2017, 02:18

GamerGeek wrote:
GrandPiano wrote:
Xonen wrote:In Old English specifically, short /i/ was almost certainly phonetically somewhat centralized (perhaps especially in unstressed positions), so /ij/ would have been pronounced [ɪj].
Just out of curiosity, what is the evidence for this?
There really isn't any.
Now I'm curious what the basis is for this assertion, especially considering Xonen just gave a decent amount of evidence for his claim.
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Re: [j] vs [i̯]

Post by gestaltist » Thu 25 May 2017, 17:07

Adarain wrote:

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But then again you can analyze Swedish as lacking voiced fricatives altogether, only being alophones of approximants in energetic pronunciation or intervocalic realizations of voiced stops. Some Germanic languages/dialects are generally analyzed this way, like Swiss German or danish.
Most analyses of Swiss German I see (including my own) disregard voicing as distinctive in the first place. /z ʒ/ are most certainly not a thing (not even allophonically like in Standard German), /ʋ~v/ is pretty much the only debatable phoneme when it comes to a voicing distinction. I claim it’s more approximanty, and all approximants are voiced in neutral position (I think they may devoice sometimes, e.g. in clusters with plosives).
I think one indicator of /ʋ~v/ being an approximant in German is the way Germans tend to mispronounce /w/ in English, lumping it together with /v/
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Re: [j] vs [i̯]

Post by HinGambleGoth » Thu 25 May 2017, 20:44

gestaltist wrote: I think one indicator of /ʋ~v/ being an approximant in German is the way Germans tend to mispronounce /w/ in English, lumping it together with /v/
When I think about it, my own /v/ is not even articulated in the same way as my /f/. The lips are more open and there is far less turbulence. And native english speakers have noted that I easily mispronounce very even when I am sure that it is not a w.

Swedish, or at least my idiolect has a seriously asymmetrical phonology, no simple rounded/unrounded or voiced/voiceless pairs.
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