Nachtuil wrote:Does anyone else get annoyed when common everyday language instruction books don't include IPA symbols?
It seems like such a small bit of ink but so many books in North America which of course are intended for a common English speaking audience seem content to try to explain sounds with heinous, hopelessly imprecise wordy English approximations. This is incredibly frustrating at times.
But [q], an sich, doesn't magically imbue you with knowledge of how to produce the sound. Without a frame of reference, you're floundering just as much as the next guy. If you don't know the sound, is this especially helpful in learning Arabic?
Wikipedia wrote:It is pronounced like a voiceless velar stop [k], except that the tongue makes contact not on the soft palate but on the uvula.
There is also the voiceless pre-uvular stop in some languages, which is articulated slightly more front compared with the place of articulation of the prototypical voiceless uvular stop, though not as front as the prototypical voiceless velar stop.
Wikipedia wrote: Its manner of articulation is occlusive, which means it is produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract. Since the consonant is also oral, with no nasal outlet, the airflow is blocked entirely, and the consonant is a stop.
Its place of articulation is uvular, which means it is articulated with the back of the tongue (the dorsum) at the uvula.
Its phonation is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords. In some languages the vocal cords are actively separated, so it is always voiceless; in others the cords are lax, so that it may take on the voicing of adjacent sounds.
It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
It is a central consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream along the center of the tongue, rather than to the sides.
The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.
Knowing this, will you get the sound right? Why, I can practically smell the tanjine.
Later (same Wikipedia page):
Code: Select all
Language Word IPA Meaning
Abaza хъацIа [qat͡sʼa] 'man'
Adyghe атакъэ [ataːqa] 'rooster'
In other words -- EEP!
-- "As In" pronunciations. If you have exposure to any of those languages to latch on to, great. If you don't, so sorry for you. There are also some sound files -- hey, there's an idea! -- so that [q] actually has some meaning. But it's an extra step in learning Arabic whose necessity is questionable if you're a language learner.
The IPA is a useful shorthand, to be sure, of people who move about cross-linguistically, as people do here. But I think responding to "as in the 'u
' in 'cut
'" with "What does that mean
? My aunt in Surrey pronounces "cut" [kpʊ̥̈θɢ], so I have absolutely no
idea what you're talking about." is a little precious and twee (Look at me! I know the IPA!) and recalcitrantly not very charitable or cooperative.
Nachtuil wrote:Does anyone else have any pet peeves that don't bother normal non-linguistically savvy people?
Well, peeves be peeves, so what can you do? Personally, I find expecting a Teach Yourself Xhosa
book to read like a descriptive grammar of Xhosa written by linguists for linguists akin to getting your knickers in a twist that The Joy of Cooking
isn't written using symbols from the periodic table or that there are karaoké crooners out there who can't read music.
Edit: Came in as I was writing:
Iyionaku wrote:Teaching IPA should be mandatory at schools, let's say in the lessons of the primary state's language. One poem interpretation less, one IPA training more.
However, how many primary IPA symbols are there? 40? As LinguoFranco already stated, it really isn't a big deal.
Clearly, more knowledge is always a good thing -- I'm not advocating ignorance, and am a staunch supporter of liberal arts education. That said, having been exposed to the periodic table, I can noodle around it to find what I want, but if you expect me to reproduce the table or tell you exactly where Mn
is without looking, you're going to be horribly disappointed. I would anticipate something similar for adult general users who had IPA back in K-12. (The value of [q]? Erm...
And I think some language geek prejudices are showing (mandatory?
) -- what's wrong with poem interpretation? What makes [ɸ] or [ɰ] more valuable to know than an ode to Heidelberg in springtime?