pronunciation used at LATINUM PODCAST

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Chris Weimer
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Post by Chris Weimer » Wed Nov 28, 2007 8:02 am

I don't think you understand the linguistics behind it, Lucus Eques. What do you think "ain't" is? Or gonna? One of my personal favorites is I'd've. I don't recall anyone using it before me, but it appears that it is now on Wikipedia.

adrianus
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Post by adrianus » Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:23 am

Lucus Eques wrote:What is this English elision you speak of? The only example that comes to mind is Elizabethan "in th'afternoon."
When, in elocution lessons, you learn "correct" English pronunciation, you are taught to enunciate clearly: all the vowels (almost) and all the syllables. In natural speech, a native speaker does not enunciate so clearly but frequently elides (plus other things). The vowel sounds can be dropped altogether or they can be retained but distinctions between them become blurred. And consonants can get dropped and syllables run together. "How do you do?" becomes "How dew do?" Northern Ireland is almost like "Norn Ir'n" in some accents. The careful articulation of "received" pronunciation sounds artificial or "frightfully proper" or even used for comic effect today. Eliza Dolittle couldn't (sorry, "could not") get a presenter's job in the BBC today and Henry Higgins now works as a dialogue coach. (Oh hello, Chris. I hadn't spotted your earlier post. It's --oops, "it is"--as you say.)
Lucus Eques wrote:The modern Irish accents (all 30 or so of them) for the most part retain an older pronunciation of English, and most bear a distinct resemblance to Shakespearean.
You are using too big a brush to paint your picture. Some sounds (depending on where exactly you look and who you are talking about) in contemporary Irish-English show the influence of English, Scottish and Welsh planter settlement on language habits in the 16th-17th centuries, as the population (unwillingly and then inescapably) begins to move from Irish as a first language to English as a first language for the most part. That's significantly different from Irish-English speaking today distinctly resembling Shakespearean English. You would have to say it distinctly resembles many other ways of speaking also, and your point would be lost. Some contemporary Irish-English sounds will be similar to Shakespearean English-English and some will not, otherwise we might be led to expect the discovery of witness that a 16th-century Irish speaker of English sounded distinctly like a Shakespearean English person. To contemporaries it was the differences that were distinctive. Apologies, Luce. Maybe I'm arguing too much, because all I'm objecting to is the exaggeration of the word "distinct".

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Post by adrianus » Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:56 pm

Actually, Luce, I know a way of settling our disagreement. If you agree to say that the Nuntii Latini broadcasters aren't in "error", I'll agree to say that I sound like William Shakespeare. Deal?

Yes, for a score of kingdoms we should wrangle,
And I would call it, fair play.
But now I had rather be a kitten and cry mew,
For I am much ashamed of my exchange
And wish all hearts content.

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Lucus Eques
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Post by Lucus Eques » Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:32 pm

Chris Weimer wrote:I don't think you understand the linguistics behind it, Lucus Eques. What do you think "ain't" is? Or gonna? One of my personal favorites is I'd've. I don't recall anyone using it before me, but it appears that it is now on Wikipedia.
Those are all contractions.
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Lucus Eques
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Post by Lucus Eques » Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:36 pm

adrianus wrote:
Lucus Eques wrote:What is this English elision you speak of? The only example that comes to mind is Elizabethan "in th'afternoon."
When, in elocution lessons, you learn "correct" English pronunciation, you are taught to enunciate clearly: all the vowels (almost) and all the syllables. In natural speech, a native speaker does not enunciate so clearly but frequently elides (plus other things). The vowel sounds can be dropped altogether or they can be retained but distinctions between them become blurred. And consonants can get dropped and syllables run together. "How do you do?" becomes "How dew do?" Northern Ireland is almost like "Norn Ir'n" in some accents. The careful articulation of "received" pronunciation sounds artificial or "frightfully proper" or even used for comic effect today. Eliza Dolittle couldn't (sorry, "could not") get a presenter's job in the BBC today and Henry Higgins now works as a dialogue coach. (Oh hello, Chris. I hadn't spotted your earlier post. It's --oops, "it is"--as you say.)
Those also are all contractions. Elisions involve a final vowel blending with an initial vowel. In this way, one could say technically that "County Mayo's very pretty" is a case of elision, though the general classification is that of contraction.
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Post by adrianus » Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:57 pm

!!! Here's the OED entry under elision:
1. The action of dropping out or suppressing: a. a letter or syllable in pronunciation; b. a passage in a book or connecting links in discourse. Also, an instance of either of these. Also fig.

1581 SIDNEY Apol. Poetrie (Arb.) 70 The Italian is so full of Vowels, that it must euer be cumbred with Elisions. 1589 PUTTENHAM Eng. Poesie II. xii. (Arb.) 129 If there were no cause of elision. 1710 STEELE Tatler No. 230. 6 The..Elisions, by which Consonants of most obdurate Sound are joined together. 1836 HOR. SMITH Tin Trump. I. 2 Standard words..are arbitrarily cut off by elision. 1870 BOWEN Logic iii. 57 The science claims, therefore, to fill up the gaps and elisions of ordinary discourse. 1893 in Funk's Stand. Dict. 1936 R. CAMPBELL Mithraic Emblems 20 Seven hues in white elision. 1962 Sunday Times 28 Jan. 12/2 The elision of pay pause into pay restraint has at this stage scarcely been attempted. 1964 M. CRITCHLEY Developmental Dyslexia viii. 52 The process of learning to read entails the elision from the focus of attention of the confusing memory-images of the non-dominant hemisphere.
2. elision of the air: formerly assigned as the cause of sound (see quot.). Obs.

1626 BACON Sylva §124 The Cause given of Sound, that it should be an Elision of the Air (whereby, if they mean anything, they mean Cutting or Dividing, or else an Attenuating of the Air) is but a Terme of Ignorance. 1660 BOYLE New Exp. Phys.-Mech. Digress. 346 The Production and Modulation of the Voice by the Elision of the Air.
3. A breaking (so as to make a gap) by mechanical force. (Scarcely a recognised Eng. use.)

1760 tr. Juan & Ulloa, Voyage to S. Amer. (1772) II. 98 The sea formed these large cavities..by its continual elisions. 1881 Times 12 Mar., It [Casamicciola] is now half in ruins, and even those houses which have stood are crippled by elisions.


Even my Mac OSX Thesaurus defines elision as "the omission of a sound or syllable when speaking (as in I'm, let's, e'en)"

I know Wiki distinguishes contraction and elision but that is only to say a contraction is a special type of elision -- an elision that has been morphologized:
The elided form of a word or phrase may become a standard alternative for the full form, if used often enough. In English, this is called a contraction, such as can't from cannot. Contraction differs from elision in that contractions are set forms that have morphologized, but elisions are not.
but I'm going to check my Cambridge English Grammar when I get home to see if linguistic usage maintains any fine distinctions, or is so mad as to say that, when an elision becomes so common it stops being an elision because it is now called a contraction!!!

I DILUTE MY OFFER: If you agree to say that the Nuntii Latini broadcasters aren't in "error", I'll agree to say that I sound a BIT like William Shakespeare. Deal?

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Post by adrianus » Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:42 pm



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Post by adrianus » Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:24 pm

I checked the Cambridge English Grammar, but it says nothing about elision. However, have a look at this online resource "Transcribing English Phrases" (2003) by Paul Tench of the Centre for Language and Communication Research, Cardiff University at http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/encap/staff/te ... hrases.pdf
He defines elision
A second type of simplification involves not an adjustment to a sound, but its complete removal. This is known as elision; the missing sound is said to have been elided.
He includes "don't" and "he's" under the category of elision and he gives the following typical examples (along with loads of others):
Chris(t)mas, Han(d)kerchief, han(d)some, san(d)wich, gran(d)father, Ol(d) Man River, They as(k)ed me, Hist(o)ry, Secret(a)ry, mot(o)ring, myst(e)ry, , Febr(u)ary, technic(al)ly, eas(i)ly, choc(o)late, fam(i)ly, op(e)ning, matter o(f) fact, brother (i)n law, mother (a)n(d) toddlers, f(o)r instance, f(o)r a minute, c(or)rect, c(ol)lect, p(e)rhaps, s(up)pose
I understand now that you don't count these as elision because that's not what elision means regarding Latin poetry, but you did ask what I meant about elision in English.
OFFER STILL STANDS: If you agree to say that the Nuntii Latini broadcasters aren't in "error", I'll agree to say that I sound a BIT like William Shakespeare. Deal?
Last edited by adrianus on Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Lucus Eques » Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:27 pm

You make a pretty sweet deal.

In any case, I will concur with you, for the etymology of "elision" doesn't refer specifically to vowels either. But speaking Latinly, we understand elision to refer to vowel junctions, while Latin contractions occur within words (e.g. jurasti, dixsti, cunctaris < cunctaveris, etc.).

I believe συναλοιφή — "blending" — is the correct Greek term for vowel on vowel elision.

And I contend with thousands of years of linguistic evidence and half a dozen daughter languages that this is structural and fundamental — not mere frills to be jettisoned.
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adrianus
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Post by adrianus » Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:30 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:You make a pretty sweet deal.
Do I take it that you take the deal and say the Nuntii announcers do not "err"? Then I sound a bit like William Shakespeare. All hearts content.

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