Talk:Yiddish phonology

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Oah vey???[edit]

Does Klein really transcribe oy as /ɔə/? That seems quite, um, idiosyncratic. —Angr 21:05, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

No, (s)he transcribes it as /ɔɜ/. Not much of an improvement, is it? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 21:25, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
Not a great picture, but I think it's a she. Can we use a different source that says what people expect to see? —Angr 21:32, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes. Firespeaker and I have been discussing this page a bit on my talk page. If you've got a better source, please bring it to the table. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 21:42, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, I don't know what you consider a better source, but I certainly have other sources, though not by phoneticians. Uriel Weinreich in both Modern English-Yiddish, Yiddish-English Dictionary and College Yiddish says simply that ױ is "shorter than oy in boy". Birnbaum in Grammatik der Jiddischen Sprache describes ױ as "Kurzes ungespanntes o und kurzes gespanntes i, ungefähr wie eu in ‚Eule‘" ["short lax o and short tense i, approximately like eu in 'Eule'"], suggesting [ɔi]. W. B. Lockwood in Lehrbuch der modernen jiddischen Sprache says "wie deutsches eu" ["like German eu"]. So that's at least one native Yiddish speakers (Birnbaum) saying in print that the ױ diphthong ends in a high front vowel, and another (Weinreich) strongly implying it. —Angr 22:10, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Birnbaum's native language was German, I believe. He learned Yiddish as an adult. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.186.215.227 (talk) 01:53, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

More Than One Yiddish[edit]

There are two Yiddishes North and South.

For example Northern Yiddish spoken in Lithuania would say - Du bist ayn klayner bruter. Whereas a Southern Yiddish speaker in Poland would say - Dee bist ein kleiner breeter. It relates to the Hebrew phonology as well.--Saxophonemn (talk) 04:34, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

That looks almost entirely like phonological differences (or at least, the differences seem to be the result of different phonological changes). — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 08:33, 14 December 2008 (UTC)


A question about the high-front vowel(s) of Yiddish[edit]

High there, most sources describe the Yiddish vowel system as containing only one high-front vowel phoneme (spelt with 'yud'). However, in her book "Phonetik des Jiddischen" (2008), Ane Kleine shows that instances of this allegedly one and the same phoneme cluster around two distinct acoustic centers, one clearly front and the other slightly more retracted. Kleine's book is in German, so it is hard for me to follow, but if I understand her correctly, she herself is puzzled by this contrast. I am an Israeli phonetician, and I used to hear Yiddish a lot as a child, but far less frequently when I grew older (my mother is a native speaker and she used it with her parents until they died, her own accent was heavily influenced by Hebrew, so she is not a reliable phonetic source). I do remember, as part of the Yiddish I did hear (or better, 'overhear'), some sort of 'retracted [i]', actually not too far from 'barred i' (high central vowel), along side a rather front [i]. For example, the word 'shpatsiren' (to travel) has the front [i] in its stressed syllable, while the word 'tsimer' (room) has the retracted [i] in its stressed syllable. Now, I have absolutely no idea whether the partition is allophonic and conditioned by environment, or phonemic, and if it is phonemic, to what extent it relates to the tense-lax contrast in German. Also, if it is phonemic, I wonder to what extent this is related to the vowel system of Polish (a 6-vowel system that has precisely this additional contrast, between the vowels spelt 'i' and 'y'). I should say that, since my family is Polish from all sides, most of the Yiddish I heard was Polish Yiddish, and all of the elderly Yiddish speakers I knew were Polish/Yiddish bilinguals. If anyone knows more about this issue and can contribute either in the conversation or as part of the entry text, I would be grateful. Roy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.169.36.107 (talk) 19:12, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Velar Fricative?[edit]

Under Velar/Uvular, for Fricative, the table has χ, not x. But Yiddish is represented in both those articles. Voiceless uvular fricative has בוך [bʊχ]. But Voiceless velar fricative has איך [ix]. Which is correct? If both, that should be expanded upon in this article.