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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:19 pm 
Sanci
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A pharmaceutical company apparently is guilty of having created a sixth pronunciation for the letter "x".

http://simplerspelling.tripod.com/Safet ... 16-3Q.html

Quote:
"aylexithymea" for "alexithymia"
This unusual scientific word is unclear as to pronunciation, but need not be.
The first problem is that the A before a single consonant at the start of the word will be seen by many readers as representing a schwa, as in "around", "about", and "apostrophe". That's not the sound here, however, which is a long-A. We could write that as AI, as in "staid", or AY, as in "plaything". Before an L, as here, however, AI would be seen as having the flat-A sound in "fail", "rail", and "airmail", so AY is the better choice.
The X is probably not a problem, even tho X can represent five different sounds (KS as in "nexus", GZ as in "exist", KSH as in "luxury", GZH as in "luxurious", and Z as in "xylem").* The default that most people will see for an X in a location like this is KS, which is correct, so we can leave it as-is.
TH could also be pronounced in more than one way, voiced, as in "this", and unvoiced (or voiceless), as in "thing". A rare reader might see the word "thy" within today's word, and think the proper sound is voiced. But again, the default that most people will see, voiceless, is correct, so we don't need even to try to clarify that sound, which is good, given that there is no way to do that in traditional spelling!
The last issue is the IA at the end of this long word. IA can be pronounced in more than one way too, within a word as long-I plus long-A ("hiatus"), or long-I plus short-A ("diameter"), or long-I plus schwa ("defiance"). At the end of a word, IA can be pronounced as long-E plus schwa ("nutria"), or the consonant Y plus schwa ("California") and even as long-I plus schwa (as in the old-fashioned pronunciation of the female name "Maria" and the term "Black Maria" for a paddy wagon. That spelling for that sound at the end of a word has been changed to IAH (except in "Black Maria"), as in the given name Mariah and the ordinary noun "pariah". (Now, do you see the need for spelling reform?)
Here, the sound is long-E plus schwa, which is more clearly written EA.
Putting this all together, we get: "aylexithymea".
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* Dictionary.com: "Psychiatry. difficulty in experiencing, expressing, and describing emotional responses."
* A pharmaceutical company has recently created a SIXTH pronunciation for X, in the marketing name of a new drug, "Farxiga", which is supposed to be pronounced with an S-sound! That is atrocious, but English does not have any authoritative body to ban such disgraceful misspellings.


Last edited by Fooge on Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:25 pm 
Smeric
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If one proper name is enough to count as a distinct pronunciation for the letter "x," then there are definitely more than six pronunciations for "x."


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:50 pm 
Avisaru
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That's an interesting one. Apparently the author, like me, has a perceptually salient allophone of /eɪ/ before tautosyllabic /l/, which is described as a "flat-A sound". I would write the sound for me as something like [eə]. I wonder from that wording if the author has merged it with some other phoneme. It seems possible that it might merge with /æ/ in some American English accents. There are apparently people who merge the vowel of "sale" with the vowel of "sell" (either in perception or in production, or maybe just in other people's perception).

In reality, it's not a problem that the "a" at the start of alexithymia "will be seen by many readers as representing a schwa", because that's an acceptable pronunciation of the Greek "alpha privative" negative prefix in this context in an English word. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the pronunciation as "Brit./əˌlɛksᵻˈθʌɪmɪə/, U.S. /əˌlɛksəˈθaɪmiə/". The pronunciation with /eɪ/ that the author describes seems kind of over-enunciated to me.

The really weird thing about the pronunciation of "alexithymia" is the use of /aɪ/ in the stressed syllable--it would be more regular if it were /ɪ/. The letters "i" and "y" are usually pronounced as "short i" when followed by "i" or "e" before another vowel letter--e.g. Scythia, -philia, chlamydia, Syria, myriad, empyrean.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:55 pm 
Smeric
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Quote:
GZH as in "luxurious"

..."luxurious" has /kʃ/ for me.

Also, apparently I've been completely mispronouncing alexithymia, which I assumed was [əˌɫɛksəˈθimiə]. I'm not sure if the /eː/ or the /ai/ is more counterintuitive here.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:02 pm 
Avisaru
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Zaarin wrote:
Quote:
GZH as in "luxurious"

..."luxurious" has /kʃ/ for me.

Also, apparently I've been completely mispronouncing alexithymia, which I assumed was [əˌɫɛksəˈθimiə]. I'm not sure if the /eː/ or the /ai/ is more counterintuitive here.


As I said in my previous post, the author is wrong about the first syllable of alexithymia being pronounced with /eɪ/. Using /ə/ is at the very least acceptable, and may well be preferable. The /aɪ/ is certainly counterintutive; the only other words I know of where "i" or "y" can pronounced as /aɪ/ in this kind of context are cyclothymia (with the same ending), pineal (a weird variant pronunciation that might be influenced by pine; the regular pronunciation /ˈpɪniəl/ also exists), and certain pronunciations of hygienic and ideology, (which are related to the weirdly-pronounced hygiene and idea, respectively).


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:08 pm 
Boardlord
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Kind of painful to read someone talking about pronunciation with apparently no understanding of allophony or phonetic environment. E.g. you can't have <ia> = [ajej] at the end of a word, and I'm pretty sure four of those x's are allophonic.

Mandarin x is not terribly obscure-- Xi'an, Xinjiang, Deng Xiaoping-- and I think English speakers who know the words would use "sh".


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:19 pm 
Avisaru
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zompist wrote:
Kind of painful to read someone talking about pronunciation with apparently no understanding of allophony or phonetic environment. E.g. you can't have <ia> = [ajej] at the end of a word, and I'm pretty sure four of those x's are allophonic.


Hmm, I wouldn't say that any of /ks/ /gz/ /kʃ/ /gʒ/ are just allophonic variants of each other, because, as Zaarin's comment about luxurious indicates, there is no rule that can be used to automatically predict the distribution of the voiced vs. voiceless pronunciations based on the phonetic context (not even a rule of general free variation—some speakers might have free variation between /gz/ and /ks/ in some specific words, like "exit", but not in others, like "axis") and the distinction between /s/ and /ʃ/ or /z/ and /ʒ/ can only be considered allophonic if you think of yod coalescence as a post-phonemic process (there's no surface [j] in my pronunciation of a word like "complexion", so to me it seems excessively abstract to analyze it as containing /ks/ in some kind of sequence like /ksj/ rather than just containing /kʃ/, the /k/ sound of "cat" followed by the /ʃ/ sound of "ship").


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:56 pm 
Sumerul
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zompist wrote:
Kind of painful to read someone talking about pronunciation with apparently no understanding of allophony or phonetic environment. E.g. you can't have <ia> = [ajej] at the end of a word, and I'm pretty sure four of those x's are allophonic.

I agree with Sumelic that these cannot be chalked up to allophony by any reasonable means.

zompist wrote:
Mandarin x is not terribly obscure-- Xi'an, Xinjiang, Deng Xiaoping-- and I think English speakers who know the words would use "sh".

I work with quite a few Chinese people, and we pronounce ⟨x⟩ in their names with English /ʃ/.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:09 am 
Boardlord
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I'm not going to say it's 100% predictable, mostly because I don't feel like doing a lot of research on it right now. :) But I suspect a few rules will handle most of the variation:

1. Unvoice the x finally, or before an unvoiced consonant (as spelled): box, exclaim, excite, expect
2. Use /kʃ/ /gʒ/ where you would find s > ʃ: anxious, sexual, luxury. Compare specious, consensual, assure.
3. Voice it just preceding the stress accent: exist, exact, exult, exhibit, example, exhort, executive
4. Unvoice the x elsewhere: exit, axis, exercise, sexual, axle, maxim, oxygen, exoplant, execute

These match my dialect at least.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:33 am 
Sumerul
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I have /gz/ in exit which cannot be predicted by your rules. But yes, the rest of those words follow those for me.

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Amuhawr jalla vowa vta hlakrhi hdm duthmi xaja.
Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:17 am 
Smeric
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I also have /gz/ in exit. I think I also have it in execute. In general, I find this whole stress-shifting thing in English very confusing for my brain.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:11 pm 
Smeric
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I have /ks/ in exit but hearing it with /gz/ doesn't seem at all weird to me ... until a rare occasion when I saw Brexit mentioned in English and everyone seemed to be saying it with /gz/ and for some reason that sounds completely strange, like some kind of portmanteau of "Breakfast eggs ... it!" Maybe it's just that I'd only heard Brexit mentioned in German until then.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:44 pm 
Lebom
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There's also X as /ɨgz/ in "Xavier", at least in my midwestern U.S. accent.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:24 am 
Smeric
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That's just /z/ for me (but I believe your pronunciation may be common here, too. I'm sure I've heard/read of it before).


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:27 am 
Sumerul
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Šọ̈́gala wrote:
There's also X as /ɨgz/ in "Xavier", at least in my midwestern U.S. accent.

Yeah, I hear that here as well.

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Amuhawr jalla vowa vta hlakrhi hdm duthmi xaja.
Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:40 am 
Avisaru
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zompist wrote:
Kind of painful to read someone talking about pronunciation with apparently no understanding of allophony or phonetic environment. E.g. you can't have <ia> = [ajej] at the end of a word, and I'm pretty sure four of those x's are allophonic.

Mandarin x is not terribly obscure-- Xi'an, Xinjiang, Deng Xiaoping-- and I think English speakers who know the words would use "sh".


Not necessarily. My father's referred to President [ʒi ʒɪnpɪŋ].


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:37 am 
Sanno
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Travis B. wrote:
Šọ̈́gala wrote:
There's also X as /ɨgz/ in "Xavier", at least in my midwestern U.S. accent.

Yeah, I hear that here as well.

+1. Plus I've heard this with an unvoiced cluster.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:16 pm 
Sanno
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linguoboy wrote:
Travis B. wrote:
Šọ̈́gala wrote:
There's also X as /ɨgz/ in "Xavier", at least in my midwestern U.S. accent.

Yeah, I hear that here as well.

+1. Plus I've heard this with an unvoiced cluster.


I know someone who knows someone who knows someone who called their child /EkseIvij@/. Needless to say, that's the kind of hilarious baby-naming anecdote that can travel a long way in these here parts.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:22 pm 
Sanno
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My older brother planned to give his son the middle name "Xiq", pronounced /ˈziːk/.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:24 pm 
Boardlord
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Šọ̈́gala wrote:
There's also X as /ɨgz/ in "Xavier", at least in my midwestern U.S. accent.


I wonder if the people who came with that were the ones whose baby alphabet books had X-Ray instead of Xylophone.

ETA: LB, I hope you dissuaded him by threatening to call the kid [xiq].


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:28 pm 
Sanno
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zompist wrote:
Šọ̈́gala wrote:
There's also X as /ɨgz/ in "Xavier", at least in my midwestern U.S. accent.


I wonder if the people who came with that were the ones whose baby alphabet books had X-Ray instead of Xylophone.


I'm hoping it's just X-Men fans? Although that creates a chicken-and-egg, of course...


I actually personally know somebody called /r{lf/. Fortunately, he missed the mockery by a decade or two, though I've had difficulty explaining his name in conversation with my parents. "Oh, you mean..." - "no, I know, I'm not being an idiot, he actually says it like that..."

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:42 pm 
Smeric
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Is /reIf/ still standard in the U.K.? I knew someone with that name, but he spelled it Rafe and I didn't think of it as a variant of Ralph at the time.

÷÷÷÷÷÷
I've done /Z/ for x, too.... picked it up in my early teen years and seem to have mentally stored it as the default foreign pronunc until I made a conlang with /x/ and /h/, necessitating using both in romanization.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:58 pm 
Sanno
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Soap wrote:
Is /reIf/ still standard in the U.K.? I knew someone with that name, but he spelled it Rafe and I didn't think of it as a variant of Ralph at the time.

You people using capital I for IPA ɪ when transcribing diphthongs are going to make me have a conniption.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:43 pm 
Sumerul
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linguoboy wrote:
Soap wrote:
Is /reIf/ still standard in the U.K.? I knew someone with that name, but he spelled it Rafe and I didn't think of it as a variant of Ralph at the time.

You people using capital I for IPA ɪ when transcribing diphthongs are going to make me have a conniption.

For a moment I was wondering if there were people named /reɪlf/ and that Soap was just transcribing /eɪ/ as "/e/"...

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Amuhawr jalla vowa vta hlakrhi hdm duthmi xaja.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:54 pm 
Smeric
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Of course not, the Brits are obviously going around saying "RRÉLF! RRÉLF!"


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