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Brithenig diphthongs (was: Yiddish influences in Brithenig)

At 15:44 2/5/98, Andrew Smith wrote:
>> Raifun.
>> Now happily [r@I'vun]    ;-)
>It took me a few seconds to figure out that the diphthong has become
>unstressed to cause this pronunciation.  Care to speculate on what happens
>to the pronunciation of unstressed diphthongs?  I could use it for the
>ongoing task of revision.

Sorry at tardy reply - have been busy recently.
On second thoughts I probably ought to have written the second element of
the diphthong with i and 'subscript inverted breve' to denote high front
semivowel, since in falling diphthong the first element shows where the
tongue begins but the second merely the points towards which the tongue
moves.  It rarely actually reaches the point except in slow careful speech,
but usually stops somewhere "en route" depending what speech register we're
using.  Perhaps here we can use [j] and [w] to denote the semivocalic

The diphthongs [@j] and [@w] are common in Welsh, and I'd guess that
unstressed [aj] and [aw] would weaken to such diphthongs. (I find them
quite easy to pronounce).

Of the other dipthongs, I see no reason why the first element should not
become lax in unstressed syllables in the same way as monothongs, thus:
[ej] --> [Ej]
[oj] --> [Oj]
[uj] --> [Uj]

[ew] --> [Ew]
[iw] --> [Iw]

I note that although {ei} occurs in Brithenig, {ow} apparently does not.

I'm a bit puzzled on a couple of points, however (it may be my info is out
of date).

1) In my downloaded copy of Brithenig I have:
 yw   pronounced as in new (English pronunciation not American)"

In the English of England this is a _rising_ diphthong [ju:], except for
some areas of East Anglia where 'new' is [nu:].  If you intend the rising
diphthong here then it's out of step, so to speak, with the others, and I
wonder why.

In south Walian English 'new' is pronounced [niw], and the diphthong [iw]
is common in Welsh.  What's more, I find this sound _easy_ whereas I find
[uj] (which Welsh & Brithenig both have) difficult.  So I'm rather
surprised that Brithenig {iw}, {yw} is not [iw].

2) In my copy {ae} is shown as identical with {ai} and {oe} with {oi} (this
is not the case in Welsh except among those to whom Welsh is a 2nd - or
3rd, 4th etc - language).  Is this intended?  If so, why does Brithening
have this double representation for each diphthong?


Written in Net English        Humor not necessarily marked