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Palatalization/velarization in Irish
http://www.incatena.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=45150
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Author:  yangfiretiger121 [ Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Palatalization/velarization in Irish

Why are Seán ([ʃɔːnˠ]) and Séan ([ʃeːnˠ]) clearly palatalized in Irish? I don't think Shawn and Shane are palatalized in English.

Edit: Changed name to reflect info in linguoboy's most recent post while preserving the text above as is for posterity.

Author:  Vijay [ Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Palatalization in Irish

Because Irish contrasts palatalized and unpalatalized consonants and English doesn't?

Author:  linguoboy [ Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Palatalization in Irish

I don't understand the question. Irish palatalised /s/ is realised as an palato-alveoar fricative [ʃ]. If it weren't palatalised, it would be [sˠ], a velarised alveolar sibilant.

The fact that the English contrast of /ʃ/ and /s/ isn't one of systematic palatalisation isn't at all relevant to Irish.

Author:  yangfiretiger121 [ Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Palatalization in Irish

The question's about the final <n> in the names. I could be wrong, but I don't think Shawn or Shane has a palatalized <n> in English. If Wikipedia is accurate, Seán and Séan have their final <n> palatalized in Irish.

Author:  linguoboy [ Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Palatalization in Irish

yangfiretiger121 wrote:
The question's about the final <n> in the names. I could be wrong, but I don't think Shawn or Shane has a palatalized <n> in English. If Wikipedia is accurate, Seán and Séan have their final <n> palatalized in Irish.

Wikipedia is accurate. You just don't know how to interpret what it's telling you.

The IPA diacritic for palatalisation is a small raised yod, i.e. <ʲ>.
The IPA diacritic at the end of those words is a small raised gamma, i.e. <ˠ>. This is used to represent velarisation.

To show the contrast more clearly (transcribing my pronunciation here):

Seán [ʃɑːn̪ˠ]
a Sheáin [əˈçaːnʲ]

Author:  yangfiretiger121 [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Palatalization/velarization in Irish

I knew what it was telling me. I just wasn't entirely paying attention to my typing when I created the topic or made my previous post. Exactly, why is Seán's final <n> velarized in Irish? Same goes for a Sheánin's last <n> being palatalized. I think I missed the faux pas because I was too wrapped up in waiting for initial replies. However, I have no clue why I didn't correct it with my second post and kept using the incorrect term until someone pointed it out to me.

Author:  linguoboy [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Palatalization/velarization in Irish

yangfiretiger121 wrote:
Exactly, why is Seán's final <n> velarized in Irish? Same goes for a Sheánin's last <n> being palatalized.

You mean what are the historical factors which gave rise to the current palatalised/velarised contrast? Once again, I'm not sure what you're really asking.

Author:  Salmoneus [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Palatalization in Irish

linguoboy wrote:
a Sheáin [əˈçaːnʲ]


So, I gather h>ç before back vowels. But this applies here even when slender and preceding /a:/?
(no offglide before the nasal, I see?)

Author:  linguoboy [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Palatalization in Irish

Salmoneus wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
a Sheáin [əˈçaːnʲ]

So, I gather h>ç before back vowels. But this applies here even when slender and preceding /a:/?
(no offglide before the nasal, I see?)

I think this applies only when slender and only before /a:/, at least in Munster. I'd have to check Ó Cuív to be sure. I don't think the distribution is 100% predictable. (Cheana, for instance, is [ˈhɑn̪ˠə].)

The Wikipedia article on Irish phonology does make mention of the funkiness here:
Quote:
Interaction of /x/ and /ç/ with /h/
In many dialects of Irish, the voiceless dorsal fricatives /x/ and /ç/ alternate with /h/ under a variety of circumstances. For example, as the lenition of /tʲ/ and /ʃ/, /h/ is replaced by /ç/ before back vowels, e.g. thabharfainn /ˈçuːɾˠhən̠ʲ/ ('I would give'), sheoil /çoːlʲ/ ('drove'). In Munster, /ç/ becomes /h/ after a vowel, e.g. fiche /ˈfʲɪhə/ ('twenty').[98] In Ring, /h/ becomes /x/ at the end of a monosyllabic word, e.g. scáth /sˠkaːx/ ('fear').[99] In some Ulster dialects, such as that of Tory Island, /x/ can be replaced by /h/, e.g. cha /ha/ ('not'), and can even be deleted word-finally, as in santach /ˈsˠan̪ˠt̪ˠah ~ ˈsˠan̪ˠt̪ˠa/ ('greedy')[100] In other Ulster dialects, /x/ can be deleted before /t̪ˠ/ as well, e.g. seacht /ʃat̪ˠ/ ('seven').

Author:  Vijay [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Palatalization/velarization in Irish

yangfiretiger121 wrote:
Exactly, why is Seán's final <n> velarized in Irish? Same goes for a Sheánin's last <n> being palatalized.

My understanding is that consonants in Irish other than /h/ are always either velarized or palatalized. In Seán, the nasal is velarized. In a Sheáin, it's palatalized.

Author:  linguoboy [ Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Palatalization/velarization in Irish

The relevant section of Ó Cuív (1948) is on page 118:
Quote:
Palatalised sh > x [i.e. [ç]] before long back and open vowels, e.g. shiobhal [CO: shiúl] xu:l, sheól (vb.) xo:l, Sheaán [sic] xɑ:n. So also in the name Shiubhán xəˈvɑ:n. Exceptionally = h in some words, e.g. sheól (noun) ho:l, sheómra (noun) ho:mrə, Sheóirse (noun) ho:rʃi.

Author:  Salmoneus [ Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Palatalization/velarization in Irish

GRMA!

(another thing to fail to remember...)

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