Help talk:IPA/French/Archive 1

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Rhotic (ʁ)

Reece Llwyd has added this note. I don't doubt the information's accuracy, but considering that this page is designed to assist editors in transcribing French for Wikipedia articles, I think we should ignore the dialectal variations in the rhotic's pronunciation and use one for all of our transcriptions. Thoughts?— Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 21:26, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree. These "IPA for X" help pages (why were they moved out of Help: space?) are quick-and-easy guides to IPA transcription, not full-fledged discussions of languages' comparative phonology. —Angr 21:17, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Nearest english equivalent

Is "German ‹r›" (how is this pronounced?) a commonly used term? I cannot find any mention of the term (or of "German R") on Wikipedia; the footnote points to the "Guttural R" article, which refers to it alternately only as a "French R". If there are no English words or loanwords that use this sound, perhaps the box should just read and point to rhotic or French R.-- (talk) 02:12, 21 July 2010 (UTC)


I don't understand how the "rounded" end, way and see reflect their French counterparts, surely we can do better.

  • The ø page says that the closest English equivalent to a close-mid front rounded vowel is the open-mid central unrounded vowel, ɜ. I agree. (I can't imagine what dialect makes "way" sound like that!)
  • Open-mid front rounded vowel is more of a problem because ø and œ sound identical to me. But as this is just a cheat sheet, we could probably say that ɜ is a decent English approximation for either of these.
  • u and y could be better approximated in English with book and food. (No, it's not very accurate, but it conveys the difference slightly better, I think.)

And using vin blanc as an example just begs the question! But I don't have any particularly good alternatives. Nick (talk) 17:50, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

The problem with [ɜ] is that it doesn't work for rhotic dialects. But French [ø] is further back than [e], so it's not very precise to say it's a rounded [e] either. kwami (talk) 07:04, 25 July 2009 (UTC)


I know it's customary to transcribe e muet as a schwa. But that does give English speakers a bad accent, since e muet is rounded, and English schwa is not. Granted, [ə] is not defined for roundedness, so it can go either way, but mightn't it be better to use [ɵ]? kwami (talk) 07:04, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

I think that would be confusing. The rounding is barely noticeable at normal speech rates, and when it is emphasized, it's more like [œ] anyway. +Angr 08:49, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
And in any case, standard French practice is always to use [ə]. --seberle (talk) 17:45, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Long vowels

Many French vowels can be long, but the chart only mentions ɛ as possibly being long. Why is ɛ singled out for mention and why are other long vowels ignored? The article should be consistent and include all or none. --seberle (talk) 17:39, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Do the others have a phonemic distinction between short and long, as in faite vs. fête? +Angr 19:30, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
According to French phonology, a long /ɛː/ contrast with short /ɛ/ is the only phonemic contrast between two vowels distinct only by quantity. Other instances of long vowels are contextual allophones. Not all dialects have /ɛː/ even if [ɛː] shows up as an allophone of /ɛ/, which may be the source of seberle's confusion. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 23:30, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that would explain it. Thanks. Now that I think about it, I do remember once reading about a possible distinction between maître and mettre, but I've never heard it. I suspect it is very rare in contemporary French. --seberle (talk) 00:48, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
I think it's effectively obsolete in Parisian, but it's still taught. kwami (talk) 02:12, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

The long /ɛː/ hasn't been used in standard French for about a century. It definitely doesn't belong in this chart, as the only dialect to still use it is Québec French, and perhaps a handful of metropolitan French patois. And it is *not* taught (maybe it is to foreigners whose French teacher uses a 19th century dictionary with ancient phonetics, but nobody knows about that sound in France for standard French). It is incorrect to say that "many French vowels can be long", as it is only the case for /ɑ:/ -- which is, as the note says, often replaced by /a/. It's a fairly recent evolution, but 99% people born after the 1960's replaced by as /a/. Same goes for the distinction between /ə/ and /œ/. As much as you still find /ə/ in current French dictionaries, it is more and more replaced by /œ/. Nobody under 30 knows there's supposed to be a difference. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:54, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

I totally agree with my fellow countryman above about the long /ɛː/. It does not exist anymore, and there is no reason to add it here as an example of regional dialect (Québécois), otherwise you would have to add ALL the idiosyncrasies of ALL regional vairants of French. And if the person who keeps putting this archaic sound back on is still not convinced: just look at the "French phonetics" page in French and you'll see it's not on there. It's probably best to leave this pronounciation page up to native speakers, isn't it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:24, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Maybe we should include "idiosyncrecies." We already have the nasalized mid rounded vowel and both open vowels. Are there any others that we're missing? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 20:23, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I have to disagree with those who have dismissed /ɛː/ as belonging to a "regional" dialect. Quebec French is not any more a regional dialect than is French French.
I would like to correct a particular statement above that this phoneme hasn't been present in "Standard French" (by which the writer means Standard Parisian French) in over a century. The truth is, as late as the 1960s, the /ɛː/ vs. /ɛ/ distinction was recorded in dictionaries such as Le Petit Robert. Also, those speakers in France who maintain the distinction include many speakers of what can only be described as Standard French, not patois as that poster disparagingly refers to it.
Regarding Canada and France, the situation is analogous to that of British and Australian English. One variety does have greater international visibility than the other, but neither is more "regional" or less standard than the other.
There are no Quebec-born native speakers of French who choose to speak with a Parisian accent. Just type "Standard Quebec French", "Standard Canadian French", "Standard European French" and "Standard Parisian French" into Google Books, and you will find many references. For example, this book on French phonology explicitly opposes "Standard Canadian French" and "Standard Parisian French" and says that Standard Parisian French can be regarded as one regional standard among many.
As an international project, it is important that Wikipedia not reflect a bias in favour of France. Referring to the French Wikipedia as an authority on these matters, as suggested above, would not be a good idea. The French Wikipedia is not immune from a bias in favour of France, which is where the majority of its contributors are from. (talk) 09:21, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Pronouncing õ

So I'm trying to learn how to pronounce Poisson, as in the Poisson distribution. The intro says it's pronounced [pwasõ], but there's no õ on this page. Is that just a stress symbol, and if so, why wouldn't it be the normal type? II | (t - c) 08:41, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Somebody got lazy, I guess. I've fixed the article accordingly. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 09:02, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

/õ/ is technically wrong, it should be written /ɔ̃/, like in the chart. Then again, in modern French the sound is actually much closer to /õ/ (which is exactly how I do it, actually). To pronounce it, just nasalize a /o/ sound. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:01, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

"Marginal consonants"?

I don't understand this section. As much as the /ŋ/ makes sense, why the others? They're only used for English words but French doesn't release those as affricates, and for us they are just successions of 2 consonants, nothing else. In English dictionaries they are separate entries in the phonetic section, but not in French. They should be removed from this page, otherwise one should start putting in all the common consonant successions native to French, like "tr", "pr",... which is of no interest since the individual consonants are already all in the charts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:13, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

That's a good point. If they're just sequences of a stop and fricative, and they're indicated orthographically, can we expect both editors and readers to get it right without listing them here? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 21:47, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
I think 88 is right. Take for instance the Trésor de la Langue Française Informatisé. In their word search form they also have a phonetic input section (method 3 here, although I'm not sure the link works for you as it does for me), which allows entering a word using the sounds it's made of, by clicking buttons. There is a "NG" button there for the sound [ŋ], but none for our other marginal consonants. This is a clear indication that the authors of that dictionary considered those other consonants as simple sequences.
Also, the pronunciation given for words like tsunami, tzar, djebel, tchao in the same dictionary does not suggest that those consonants are to be understood in any way other than as sequences.
I would suggest removing those 4 consonants from our table, or at most mentioning them in a note. — AdiJapan 06:53, 3 January 2010 (UTC)


What's the policy on stress marks? Some articles have them (e.g. Arthur Rimbaud), some don't (Paris), and Nicolas Sarkozy has a note saying "Please do not add a stress mark: French is not stressed in this way".

(I hardly ever use this template myself, but it's a topic of general importance.) Lfh (talk) 20:49, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

French doesn't have lexical stress, so we shouldn't be marking stress on French words. +Angr 21:08, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
OK. Maybe there should be a note to clarify this somewhere, because quite a few articles do feature the stress mark. Lfh (talk) 21:59, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
There are two legitimate POV's here: true, French does not have phonemic stress. But it does have phonetic stress, and this is a phonetic transcription, not a phonemic one; readers approaches a pronunciation guide under the assumption that it will tell them how to pronounce the word. However, as Angr points out, the stress is not lexical, and it is words that we are transcribing, so adding stress implies that the stress is lexical. At least, that's the idea that people come away with: it's a common myth that French has word-final stress, and by marking coincidentally word-final stress, we reinforce that misunderstanding.
We have essentially the same problem in Engish: there is no lexical difference in English between primary and secondary stress. Nonetheless, we mark that prosodic difference, even though our English transcriptions are allegedly phonemic, because it's standard to do so in dictionaries. At least marking French stress isn't factually wrong, just misleading. kwami (talk) 02:42, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I have yet to see a French dictionary (for natives or for non-natives, it doesn't matter) that marks the stress position in its phonetic transcriptions. So, verifiability-wise speaking, neither we should be marking the stress. I believe it wouldn't help readers pronounce more correctly anyway. On the other hand, we should give a short explanation about the stress in French on this guide page, for those who wonder why there is no stress marker in our French IPA's. — AdiJapan 04:07, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I've deleted stress from French transcriptions myself. I'm just acknowledging that those who advocate adding stress marks have a point, though if we go that route, we should be careful that we only stress phrases, not every word/name. kwami (talk) 05:43, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree with not transcribing stress, but perhaps we should put something that indicates how stress works in French. Something like "Word stress is not distinctive in French. In general, only the last syllable of the last word in a phonological phrase is stressed, unless it contains schwa, in which case stress falls on the penultimate syllable." — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 08:17, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
We're not transcribing word-final e muet, though, are we? Être is [ɛːtʁ], not [ɛːtʁə], so there won't be any final schwas to worry about. +Angr 08:42, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Aeusoes, there is at least one exception I can think of to your rule.
Les enclitiques ont un comportement accentuel comparable à celui des suffixes. L’accent final est en effet réalisé sur ces deux types de morphèmes. « Regarde-le » donne « Regarde-LE ». Source:[1] (talk) 12:18, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Actually, Angr, there are a few articles which do have final unstressed schwa. I didn't tag them, but that's something we can delete in a future pass w AWB. — kwami (talk) 21:21, 14 May 2010 (UTC)


Linking to a phone's article makes sense, but we shouldn't link to the article on vowel length or nasalization. Also, because the rhotic varies from dialect to dialect, we shouldn't link to an article for that, either. If we want these sounds to be explained to people, we can explain them in this article. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 20:21, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

"we shouldn't link to the article on vowel length or nasalization" - Why not? I can't see any harm. We could at least link the IPA symbols for nasalization and length, or "nasal" in the description.
"the rhotic varies from dialect to dialect" - Fair enough, but then we have to make it clearer in the article. I propose we change the note to say something like, "sometimes transcribed as [ʁ], sometimes as [ʀ]". Adding specific regions where this is the case would be best of course.
Finally, what about /a/ and /ə/?
Thank you (talk) 00:30, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
If the meaning behind the links is "this is a page that talks about this specific sound" then linking to nasalization or vowel length varies with this. If a reader is to expect that meaning from each link, they won't necessarily know which links go to phone-specific articles and which go to general articles. You're right that, in the description, we can use the links; I'm only in opposition to linking the specific characters.
You are right that we can modify the description for the rhotic. I don't know the specific distribution of which kinds of rhotics.
I took out the link to open front unrounded vowel because that can be front or it can be central but I remember now that that article talks about both as if they're the same, so it is okay to link to that article. However, French /ə/ is a vowel that has variable pronunciation depending on speaker ([{French phonology]] talks about this a bit). — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 02:07, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, integrated, see how you like it.
"French /ə/ is a vowel that has variable pronunciation depending on speaker" - it would be nice to be more specific and link to the phones.
Thanks (talk) 04:29, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
I think I've clarified it a bit now. Part of the problem with French schwa is that it's unclear (at least from what I've seen) what exactly its phonetic nature is. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 09:15, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Brackets vs Slashes

A conversation about the representation of French words is taking place at Template talk:IPA-fr for anybody interested. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 23:57, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Liaison, syllable breaks

This page should include syllable breaks ‹.› and liaison ‹‿›, shouldn't it? I'm not sure how to concisely describe liaison in a box, though... Also, should we encourage the use of syllable breaks like at French Wiktionary, or only use them when truly necessary, like with English IPA on WP? — ˈzɪzɨvə (talk) 06:12, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

I hesitate to incorporate syllable breaks if we can do without them, so we shouldn't use them everywhere. Do you have examples of where this might cause confusion?
Liaison can be used with the {{liaison}} template, which doesn't get a lot of use currently. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 09:20, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
I've only seen a syllable break used for diaeresis, as in Haiti, and it's useful there. Words with liaison have been resyllabified, as in en plein air, which as the phonetic realization is IMO probably best for a phonetic transcription. — kwami (talk) 06:04, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

AWB maintenance

I'm reviewing all transclusions w AWB. Not looking for much: illegal characters, more than one stress mark per prosodic unit[hasn't been working], N/_C, and nasal V/_N. Mostly I've found uvular trills; only a couple stress, length, & nasalization problems (such as <ã>).

A few you might want to check: [œ] to schwa in Degas; a [ɔ] left in a "Paul" somewhere (I can't find it now), Bujumbura (nasal vowel?), Niamey (palatal nasal?), Molenbeek-Saint-Jean (/ənb/?) & Neder-Over-Heembeek, Bajocasse ([j]?), Citroën Traction Avant (no liaison?), Staffelfelden & Illkirch-Graffenstaden (not French?), Mont des Arts ('des'), Marolles ('les'), Brunstatt ('un'), Kakabeka Falls (not French?), linguistic issues concerning the euro (cents: not a nasal V, [sɛnt], as if "cennete"?), Jean-Honoré Fragonard (liaison?), Drakaina (model) (just odd).

Let me know if there's s.t. else I should be on the lookout for. — kwami (talk) 06:08, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Being prosodic, not lexical, I don't think we should be marking stress in French words at all. You're probably looking for these, anyway, but here are some (orthography-influenced) things that might be problematic:
  • [ɛ, e] for [ə]
  • word-final schwa [ə]
  • [o] for [ɔ]
  • [u] for [y]
  • [i, u, y] for [j, w, ɥ]
  • confusion of [œ] and [ø]
  • [s] for [z].
In most of those cases I'm not sure AWB is particularly helpful, but I figured I'd chime in with some possible problems. — ˈzɪzɨvə (talk) 06:51, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, thanks. Those would mostly need to be done manually. I've mostly been looking at phonotactically illegal combos, as I'm not good with personal and place names. For example, Bajocasse is transcribed with a [j]. Is that an error for [ʒ], or an irregular spelling? I have no idea.
Apart from transcription conventions, such as "[r]", most of the transcriptions are quite good, unlike say Spanish. Presumably that's due to the lack of much allophony in French.
As for the stress, people have disagreed on that, so I've left it alone, unless it's wrong prosodically. — kwami (talk) 07:57, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
I would agree with not marking stress on French words. I always take stress marks out of French words where I see them, and this page notably does not include stress marks among the symbols used in the transcription of French. As for Bajocasses, I have no idea whether it's pronounced with /j/ or /ʒ/, but I suspect Bayeusains has /z/ rather than /s/. I can believe there's no liaison in Traction Avant. Liaison doesn't happen between any word ending in a nasal vowel and any word starting with a vowel; the two words have to be in a certain syntactic relationship to each other. +Angr 10:17, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Somehow I thought that nasal vowels triggered an epenthetic /n/ independently of liaison. Don't know what I was thinking of.
Added a few more oddities. — kwami (talk) 17:33, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
We could always add stress with a note that it's prosodic. I think people have a legit point that an English speaker is going to want to put stress somewhere, and the least we can do is tell them where it would be appropriate prosodically.
Stuff like /s/ vs /z/ I haven't even been looking for. Some langs (i.e. Portuguese) have a lot of transcription variants, and that's what I wanted to clean up first.
I've also left a few transciptions that were marked as Quebecois, as at French heraldry. — kwami (talk) 16:23, 4 May 2010 (UTC)


Just curious: Why are we including a guide to transcription on Arpitan, which is apparently an obscure name for Franco-Provençal? I can't imagine this being of anything but extremely limited use to only a few people anywhere. For comparison, we don't include a guide to Maltese pronunciation at Wikipedia:IPA for Arabic, nor one for Ligurian at Wikipedia:IPA for Italian, so why here? AlexanderKaras (talk) 23:19, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, I wasn't a big fan of the change, but I declined to raise any objections at the time. It would seem more appropriate to split Arpitan/Franco-Provençal into its own transcription guide. Even if it's kept here, the vowel section needs some work. But eventually we're going to have to decide if we're willing to have one of these guides for every language (or phonologically-twinned cluster of languages). We're now getting into languages with mere hundreds of thousands of speakers (though many languages with tens [even hundreds] of millions of speakers still lack such a guide), and I don't think we're prepared for 6000 IPA guides. — ˈzɪzɨvə (talk) 01:12, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Split? There's only one page that links here. Most of the Occitan transcriptions still link to the Catalan key. We could just link to the Occitan phonology section.
S#!+, I think I was supposed to fix that. Oops! — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 03:45, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
BTW, I want to throw an idea out there: why not use the language code for every case where we're transcribing a specific language, no matter how obscure? "IPA-all" would then only be used for generic statements such as "[ɣ] is a velar fricative". Most of these IPA-xx templates would be simple redirects to IPA-all. However, there would be a couple benefits to this: (1) we could monitor how much a language is being transcribed, and create specific keys for the more popular and difficult ones (Thai is far more common than Arpitan!); (2) because we could link through the redirect, we could verify that all articles use a common system, even if there isn't a key for them; and (3) if we do create a key, the articles will be instantly linked, without us having to slog through the thousands of IPA-all and pron templates to try to find them all. Then it would just be a matter of going through and cleaning up which lede with "X pronunciation", "pronounced", "IPA", etc. — kwami (talk) 01:22, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
That sounds like a good idea. If you haven't already, you should propose it at Template talk:IPA-all. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 03:45, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I concur, that sounds like a great idea. What are your thoughts on what to do about Arpitan? It sure doesn't seem close enough to Occitan phonologically to link to WP:IPA for Occitan, if that's what you meant, Kwami. But then again my knowledge of it consists mostly of what's been shoehorned into WP:IPA for French... (And I've had WP:IPA for Thai on my radar for some time, when I'm up to a challenge.) — ˈzɪzɨvə (talk) 04:14, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
We could copy this over. I can't imagine there'd be any opposition. The only thing would be to tag the redirects somehow so that bots don't go about "correcting" them. Rather annoying when you have a specific link that will be of use some day, and a bot changes it to the dab page it's redirected to. Preventing that would be a handy trick to have.
No thoughts on Arpitan. Don't know enough to have a thought. Does seem rather bizarre to have to look French up under "A", though. — kwami (talk) 09:16, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Do bots ever do that? If so, {{R with possibilities}} ought to be enough to let them know to leave them alone. Yet, in my experience it's human editors who don't know about (or don't understand) WP:NOTBROKEN who pipe out perfectly good redirect links to their targets. +Angr 09:28, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I did a little research on Arpitan, and the best I could get was this orthography guide. This be an essentially unstandardized language, all of the following is based on what seems to be the best documented dialect, Savoyard:

  • The article says

    Nous proposons de transcrire toutes ces consonnes, plus ou moins palatalisées selon les patois, par une combinaison avec ‹y› : ‹ly›, ‹ny›, ‹ky›, ‹ty›, ‹dy›, etc. Exemples: montanyi «montagne»; palyi «paille»; a rekyè «à l'abri du vent»; itye «ici»; dyablo «diable»

    ‹ly› and ‹ny› are shown elsewhere in the article to be /ʎ/, /ɲ/, but I don't know what ‹ky›, ‹ty›, ‹dy› are supposed to be. Are they just /kʲ/, /tʲ/, /dʲ/, and if so, is this phonemic? Or are they /c/ and /ɟ/?
  • ‹h› seems to vary from [h] to [x] to [ç], so I'm not sure what to call it.
  • ‹r› seems to be an alveolar trill (dont on ne notera pas les différentes prononciations)
  • stress is contrastive, and on one of the two last syllables
  • I can't tell if what the article calls Les diphtongues (ou les suites de voyelles) are truly diphthongs or vowel+semivowel combos.
  • The moral of the story (apart from how difficult it is to search for phonology info on Arpitan) is that this is pretty different from French, and not much closer to Occitan, so perhaps throwing together its own IPA key would be the best way to justify extricating it from French. Here's the sum of what I've gathered:
Oral vowels
i y ə u
e ø o
ɛ œ ɔ
a ɑ
Nasal vowels
ĩ ỹ ũ
ɛ̃ œ̃ õ
p b t d k ɡ
f v θ ð s z ʃ ʒ h
t͡s d͡z t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
m n ɲ ŋ
l ʎ
ɥ r j w
ky, ty, dy

— ˈzɪzɨvə (talk) 07:34, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm personally in favour of splitting into two different articles. I don't think being a closely related language justifies combining the two into a single article, not to mention that there are probably a lot of people who want help with French pronunciation and would just be confused by the inclusion of a different language that nobody has ever heard of. To wit, we have separate guides for Scottish Gaelic and Irish. I think that practice should be reserved for languages which are extremely similar in phonology, such as Swedish and Norwegian. AlexanderKaras (talk) 20:04, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Why not merge Arpitan with WP:IPA for Occitan? — kwami (talk) 19:38, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Requested move

{{movereq|WP:IPA for French}}

Wikipedia:IPA for Arpitan and FrenchWP:IPA for French — Arpitan now has its own page, and the Arpitan material has been removed from this page. — ˈzɪzɨvə (talk) 19:21, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

I'll move it. I don't see any reason for a formal request. — kwami (talk) 19:39, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

English equivalent for ɑ̃ is misleading

It currently gives "nasalized [ɑ]". [ɑ] is given as the vowel in "bra".

Each one of these sentences may perhaps be unexceptional on its own, but together they are very misleading. The English vowel [ɑ] in words like "bra" is in most accents far more open than the french [ɑ̃]. I would suggest that the closest oral equivalent of [ɑ̃], for most English accents, would be the vowel of strut. Grover cleveland (talk) 21:09, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Huh? I've read that French [ɑ̃ ] is just a little forward from [ɑ]. It certainly doesn't represent the vowel of strut acoustically to my ears. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 21:59, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Also, the STRUT vowel is infamous for its wide variety of realizations across dialects. The Americans think the Brits pronounce love "lahv" and the Brits think the Americans pronounce it "lerve", and the Australians are different from both. So whose ʌ is French ɑ̃ supposed to be like? +Angr 22:13, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Mine, I guess :) OK: I admit that "strut" is not a good example. However I still contend that the current text is misleading. See, e.g. the French entry in the IPA Handbook: "The position of the tongue is similar in [ɑ̃] and [ɔ̃], and the main articulatory difference is that [ɔ̃] has a greater degree of lip rounding." Grover cleveland (talk) 23:46, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Ok, so what do we change it to? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 00:22, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Phonetic nature of word breaks

This key (and the templates that links to it) encodes for phonetic, not phonemic, transcriptions. Perhaps we should extend this one further: does French phonology really use word-breaks? What with all the liaison, contracted forms, semivowel alternations, clitic pronouns, phrase-level stress, etc., I think you could make a strong case that we should transcribe phrases as one phonetic group:

Some reasons I feel this way:

  1. Liaison consonants resyllabify strongly with the following vowel (which word-breaks hide).
  2. It seems no less important to show the word-status of the contracted forms d'–, l'–, etc., than any noncontracted word.
  3. Some compound words are written as though separate words, but should not have a space in transcription (recent reforms have reduced this, with mixed success).
  4. This also rids us of the problem of marking phrasal stress leading to inappropriately marking stress on each word.

Would such a radical change be appropriate? Which is the weightier concern: the convenience of orthography-based word spacing, or representing the sound of French phrases more truly? — ˈzɪzɨvə (talk) 08:08, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

That makes sense. I argued something similar at Wikipedia talk:IPA for Catalan. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 18:16, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
In theory, I agree. The problem is that many people have difficulty with the IPA. Keeping word spaces helps them parse it. Since the liaison mark indicates resyllabification, there isn't any actual inaccuracy in the current transcription. After all, the space isn't an IPA character, and it doesn't have any phonetic meaning. — kwami (talk) 07:16, 30 November 2010 (UTC)