Talk:Navajo phonology

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jobs vs json[edit]

I recommend that we use <ʝ> for the obstruent and <j> for the sonorant. The subscripts are a bit clunky and non-IPA. See Nauruan language#Consonants for a precedent. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 04:58, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

But how is the distinction made in the published sources? —Angr 06:09, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
McDonough writes the [j] from /ɣ/ as Yd, the [j] from the [s~j] alternation as Yc, and the other [j] she calls the "true" glide but since it is rare she doesnt discuss much. Kari writes the [j] from /ɣ/ as ɣ (which would be palatalized), the [j] from the [s~j] alternation as ɣ̑, and the other [j] as y. Hoijer's structural analysis doesnt distinguish between the [j] from the [s~j] alternation and the "true" [j], but he considers the [j] from /ɣ/ to be [ɣ̑] (he indicates palatalization with italics actually). Young & Morgan dictionaries dont symbolize a difference between these since they use orthography, i.e. they are all y. But, in their verb stem inventory, they always note what the stem-initial consonant alternates with, so you can figure out what is what. Proto-Athabascan generally uses ɣ̇, ɣ̑, and y.
I was using jobs (= ɣ̑) and json (="true" j) because I didnt want any confusion about them being pronounced any differently. There's only a distinction in their phonological patterning, which is:
voiced before i,e voiced before a voiced before o voiceless d-effect
/ɣ/ j ɣ w x k
jobs j j j s ts
json j j j j j’
So, I was following Young & Morgan's conflation of symbols but using the subscript to distinguish between the phoneme of the [s ~ j] alternation and the "true" j. Using <ʝ> is closer to using ɣ̑ (which is the Americanist equivalent).
I was also debating not puting the /j/ with the [s ~ j] alternation in the chart since it is a more abstract phoneme. – ishwar  (speak) 06:48, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I'd be in support of the last option you mentioned. I think the chart should stick to "surface phonemes" (yes, that's a contradiction in terms, but you know what I mean). But it's fine to mention in the body of the text that various scholars have hypothesized on the basis of morphological evidence that /j/ actually corresponds to two distinct phonemes. (It's sort of like /ɑ/ in American English – in a phoneme chart I'd only list it once, but some people have argued there are two phonemes, a lax /ɑ/ and a tense t/ that merge on the surface, i.e. "father" and "bother" rhyme on the surface but underlyingly they still have separate vowels. I might mention that in the text, but I wouldn't list them separately in the chart of sounds.) —Angr 20:51, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I'll do that then. – ishwar  (speak) 21:50, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Q about syllabic N[edit]

Many sources mention syllabic N in Navajo, and the orthography also includes this. Listening to speakers, however, it seems much less like a true syllabic N, and instead sounds like /ni/ with a very short vowel. Native-speaker pronunciation of ńdeezid or wikt:ńdízídígíí, for example, sounds to my ears like there is a vowel gap between the ń and the dee, or the ń and the . Likewise for Chʼíńlį́ -- there is a very short vowel sound between the ń and the lį́. Sometimes I've even seen it spelled with the vowel explicit, as Chʼíńílį́, as it is indeed given at the top of the Chinle, Arizona page.

Other languages do have a syllabic N, such as Japanese or various African languages, where there is no vowel gap between the N and the following consonant. With this in mind, is "syllabic N" really the appropriate nomenclature for this very short /ni/ in Navajo? -- Eiríkr Útlendi | Tala við mig 06:05, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

If you find a source that says what you've said, we can include it. But we can't include original analysis. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 21:29, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. That's why I'm posting here and not just editing the page.  :) Is anyone aware of such research? And what of audio file evidence, would that count as source material for WP purposes? -- Eiríkr Útlendi | Tala við mig 03:36, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
I think we would need more than an audio file to back up the claim that syllabic N really has an epenthetic vowel. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 12:08, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Sure. I was thinking of 1) more than one, and 2) including audio files as evidence examples, not as the sole evidence. -- 205.166.76.15 (talk) 15:10, 3 April 2012 (UTC) ← That was me, my session timed out. -- Eiríkr Útlendi | Tala við mig 03:09, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, audio examples would be illustrative. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 17:00, 3 April 2012 (UTC)