Linguistic pet peeves

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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by Ahzoh » Fri 23 Dec 2016, 22:00

LinguoFranco wrote:One of my pet peeves (a rather trivial one) is that it bugs me how Northerners say coffee, saying it as "cwoffee", where did the W come from?
I reason that a labio-velar glide development is possible from a rounded back vowel.
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by GrandPiano » Sat 24 Dec 2016, 00:45

Sglod wrote:
American Northerners? As an Ohioan, I have never heard anyone say "cwoffee".
I think they meant the New York-y accent. I don't know if people actually talk like that, but TV and film says they do...
That's kind of interesting, then. It's like the opposite of pronouncing "quarter" as /ˈkɔɹtɚ/ instead of /ˈkwɔɹtɚ/.
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by qwed117 » Sat 24 Dec 2016, 00:55

Axiem wrote:
GrandPiano wrote:Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever read anything about the Washington D.C. dialect of English. Is the dialect spoken there similar to "Standard American English" (if such a thing exists), or is it more similar to the dialects of surrounding states?
Kind of. What I have been told (by people who may or may not actually know what they're talking about, not to mention Wikipedia) is that the dialect of English taught to newscasters etc. is closest to Midwestern American English (conveniently, the dialect those people speak).

My general perception is the same, that the majority of people in movies and TV speak my dialect (at least in accent; word choice occasionally strikes me as different, though). I'm not really sure what the dialect of D.C. is, but my best guess'd be more northeastern, like the stereotypical New Yahk accent; I wouldn't expect a southern accent. In movies and TV, characters "from D.C." or even "from New York" seem to speak with my accent.
The northeast has lost a significant portion of its dialectalisms due rapid gentrification. It's only in the poorer sections that these occur. But I don't think "cwoffee" is a thing. I think you are mistaking the rounding on cot-vowels as a rounding of the previous consonant.
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by Qxentio » Tue 27 Dec 2016, 00:28

@qwed117:
But those often occur at the same time.
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by clawgrip » Thu 26 Jan 2017, 01:15

How about a con-linguistic pet peeve? Time and again I have seen people say they want to design a logographic script for their language, but they can't because phonological features X Y Z would make it impossible. This always bothers me, because it's like saying you can't use a car because your legs are incompatible with wheels. You're replacing phonetic representation with logographic representation, just as you are replacing legs with wheels.

It seems like many people have this idea that a language can only have a logographic script if that language resembles Chinese, which is just not the case. Or people look at Japanese and think inflections have to be written out fully and clearly and phonetically, which also is not the case: until the late 19th century, Japanese inflections were written in kanji and the phonetic variation and interaction between stem and suffix was ignored because it was recoverable by the reader, just as you know the English interlinear gloss write/PST is "wrote". Meanwhile, Sumerian scribes often just left out most of the inflections, just hoping the reader could figure it out. Even phonetic scripts are not free of ambiguity, so I wish people would be accepting of some ambiguities in a logographic script.

The point is, there are ways to do it other than Chinese and modern Japanese, so don't give up before you even start!
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by Iyionaku » Fri 24 Feb 2017, 10:28

Every time I hear a Swabian arguing that French sounds "gay" due to its nasal vowels, I want to vomit and/or choke him.

Your own fucking dialect has nasal vowels, stupid! And a whole lot of more French loanwords than Standard German as well.
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by GrandPiano » Fri 24 Feb 2017, 23:37

I know a fellow native English speaker who once claimed that Spain Spanish sounds "gay" because of its /θ/ sound.
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by ixals » Sat 25 Feb 2017, 17:20

Reminds me of when my German speaking mother complained that she would like to speak Spanish but just can't because she can't pronounce the /x/.
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by Axiem » Thu 02 Mar 2017, 00:37

GrandPiano wrote:I know a fellow native English speaker who once claimed that Spain Spanish sounds "gay" because of its /θ/ sound.
I'm pretty sure that's because there's a stereotype in some parts of the US (including mine own) that homosexual people speak with a lisp. In particular, it shows up when people are acting "flamboyantly gay".
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » Sat 04 Mar 2017, 00:04

^^ Project idea: Make the world's "gayest" conlang, featuring phonemes perceived as homosexual around the world [;)]
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by qwed117 » Sat 04 Mar 2017, 00:43

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:^^ Project idea: Make the world's "gayest" conlang, featuring phonemes perceived as homosexual around the world [;)]
^^Project idea: Make the world's "most conservative" conlang, featuring phonemes perceived as conservative around the world, and then selling it to Andrew Schlafly by marketing it as "free of liberal-bias".
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by Qxentio » Mon 20 Mar 2017, 21:36

There is this paralinguistic thing that really annoys me. People often produce alveolar or palatal clicks when they pick up talking or when they're in the middle of a longer conversational turn. I never really noticed that in the past, let alone attributed any meaning to it. But now that I started picking it up, I realized it is to get the speakers attention and, possibly, to make the things you're saying sound more important.
Clicks are loud sounds with high overtones that can easily be picked up from the flow of speech, even over a lot of background noise. But at the same time, they don't carry over any meaning, so our categorial perception doesn't really notice them; it just diverts more attention to the speaker. Same goes for dragging in air through ones teeth, which produces a sharp hissing noise, but is accepted as a normal breathing process.
I can't turn my perception of this back off and now lots of people sound like self-important smartasses to me. Send help.
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by Imralu » Tue 21 Mar 2017, 09:33

Iyionaku wrote:Every time I hear a Swabian arguing that French sounds "gay" due to its nasal vowels, I want to vomit and/or choke him.
So ... choke him with your vomit!?
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by CMunk » Tue 21 Mar 2017, 09:54

LinguoFranco wrote:"cwoffee", where did the W come from?
Wikipedia wrote:Cot–caught distinction: The /ɔ/ vowel sound of words like talk, law, cross, and coffee and the often homophonous /ɔːr/ in core and more are tensed and usually raised more than in General American, varying on a scale from [ɔ] to [ʊ] (Labov 1966), while typically accompanied by an inglide that produces variants like [oə] or [ʊə].[13] These sounds are kept strongly distinct from the /ɑː/ in words like father, palm, wash, and bra; therefore, cot is something like [kʰät] and caught is something like [kʰoət].
(My bold)
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by DesEsseintes » Fri 24 Mar 2017, 06:02

CMunk wrote:
LinguoFranco wrote:"cwoffee", where did the W come from?
Wikipedia wrote:Cot–caught distinction: The /ɔ/ vowel sound of words like talk, law, cross, and coffee and the often homophonous /ɔːr/ in core and more are tensed and usually raised more than in General American, varying on a scale from [ɔ] to [ʊ] (Labov 1966), while typically accompanied by an inglide that produces variants like [oə] or [ʊə].[13] These sounds are kept strongly distinct from the /ɑː/ in words like father, palm, wash, and bra; therefore, cot is something like [kʰät] and caught is something like [kʰoət].
(My bold)
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City_English
This discussion and MrKrov's recent posts about his conlang Slidewing make me want to design a vowel inventory contrasting e͡ɛ e͡ə o͡ɔ o͡ə though I'm not sure whether the contrast should be phonemic or conditioned by openness etc.
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by Imralu » Mon 27 Mar 2017, 00:52

Using Duolingo and reading the comments ... all the people whose minds are BLOWN when a language doesn't have wh-fronting and ask questions like "Why do they say this sentence backwards?" I know this is how people start out and it's honest ignorance but I just want to shake them and go "English is not default! There is no backwards, there is only variety."
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by Ahzoh » Mon 27 Mar 2017, 02:43

Imralu wrote:Using Duolingo and reading the comments ... all the people whose minds are BLOWN when a language doesn't have wh-fronting and ask questions like "Why do they say this sentence backwards?" I know this is how people start out and it's honest ignorance but I just want to shake them and go "English is not default! There is no backwards, there is only variety."
So why don't you? I would. Politely, of course.
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by Imralu » Mon 27 Mar 2017, 04:30

Ahzoh wrote:So why don't you? I would. Politely, of course.
I have a few times. It's just funny - I intended to go back through the beginning of the Duolingo Swahili course to make flashcards for myself with all the vocabulary because that's the hardest part for me and I don't trust the course to actually help it stick, I'm already got struggling with remembering vocab, but I'm too curious about what's going on in the comments that I always end up in there answering people's questions - not because I know much about Swahili specifically, but because I can do research on my own (like, really obscure stuff... Wiktionary and Wikipedia)... and I know that most people either don't bother to look or if they do, they probably don't really know what it means, so because I understand grammatical descriptions, I guess I'm more helpful than the average learner ... I just have to make sure I don't overwhelm people with "here's a table with the 18 different forms of the word for of" so, although I link to tables, I then provide reassuring words like "I think the course is going to take us through this piece by piece so it sticks"... So, I've gotten pretty much nowhere with my flashcards, but I guess it's been fun. Still needed a bit of a vent though. Like, people's minds are blown by "name your is who" like that's the most exotic thing in the world, and there are occasional comments like "This language makes no sense" and "????" I guess maybe they're just venting and I'm having a vent about their venting.

And then there's also the fact that the beginning lessons are filled with tonnes of people going "the audio's not working", "there's no audio", "Why isn't there audio?", "is anyone else having problems getting the audio to work?" "It would be really good if there was audio", "Why can't I hear anything?", "this is stupid if we don't know how to pronounce it", and they're all answered by patient people who explain that the audio is not done yet.
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by Imralu » Tue 05 Dec 2017, 21:33

So, I really hate it when the media makes up stupid words for no reason.

They are now calling lahars "cold lava" and every time it's introduced they say "Also called 'cold lava'" and then continue to use it. BY FUCKING WHO? By stupid fucking journalists, that's who by! If lahar is too tricky for your dumbed-down readership, you can call them mudflows. That's perfectly fine and descriptive of what they actually are ... at some point you could mention that the're made up of volcanic ash and water. Cold lava is the stupidest shit I've ever heard. STOP IT NOW!
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Re: Linguistic pet peeves

Post by Iyionaku » Wed 06 Dec 2017, 10:54

Imralu wrote:
Mon 27 Mar 2017, 00:52
Using Duolingo and reading the comments ... all the people whose minds are BLOWN when a language doesn't have wh-fronting and ask questions like "Why do they say this sentence backwards?" I know this is how people start out and it's honest ignorance but I just want to shake them and go "English is not default! There is no backwards, there is only variety."
Related: Even some language courses are not away from assuming English as the default. I am currently using Busuu to learn Chinese - that is, I'm using it to remember vocabulary because it's entirely useless for grammar. For example, in unit 6, it let me conjugate the present. In fucking Chinese.
Just if you don't understand it straight ahead, the unit let me memorize the present conjugation in Chinese. In a language without inflection.

- I read
- You read
- He reads

Then it goes to past tense:

写了 - I read
写了 - You read
写了 - He read

This is not even correct as 了 marks perfective aspect, not past tense. It never explains it at all, though. There are a lot more instances of where I, a linguistically at least decently skilled person, have to cringe. I just strongly hope that nobody relies solely on that course because you'll end up speaking your native language with Chinese words.

Bonus: Sometimes you have to listen to an audio and write down what you've heard. So you get a sentence like Tā hěn shòu. If you enter 她很瘦。 It is correct. If you enter 他很瘦, it is wrong. Just for people not familiar with Chinese: The first sentence is "She is thin", the second "He is thin", both are pronounced identically. But the course will mark one as right and the other as wrong, from hearing. Because, you know, reasons. To enter "Tā hěn shòu." or "Ta hen shou." would be wrong too, of course.
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