[Spellyans] The quantity system
everson at evertype.com
Tue Jun 24 17:32:28 BST 2008
At 16:01 +0000 2008-06-24, Jon Mills wrote:
>In the 2 pronunciations [Os'tri:@] and ['Ostrja] the word stress is
>placed on different syllables.
Yes, and spelling them differently enables the learner to predict the
stress. <ia> is always stressed. <ya> is always unstressed.
>So we have [i:@] in a stressed syllable and [ja] in an unstressed
>syllable. Given that ryal/rial is monosyllabic, the diphthong would,
>according to this rule, be [i:@]. However that implies that the
>diphthongs [i:@] and [ja] are in complementary distribution.
Possibly, though I wouldn't jump to conclusions.
>If that is the case, then we can write <ia> for both and say that
><ia> is pronounced [i:@] when it is word stressed and [ja] when it
>is word unstressed.
You're not suggesting doing away with <ya> are you?
We could do what you suggest (if you proved that they really were in
complementary distribution) but I don't think it would be helpful to
learners or writers.
The SWF is using this same distinction: it writes bian, lien, lies
have [i:@] as described in KS16 1.5.8; also in the Conditional
(Pluperfect) of bos.
>Provia [pr@'vi:@] 'provide' and profya ['prOfj@] 'offer' are another
>good example of complementary distribution.
Yes, but distinguishing <ia> and <ya> enables the learner to know how
to pronounce these words. I wouldn't recommend provya/profya or
provia/profia as these are ambiguous. i/y allows us to make this
useful distinction -- why not?
Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
More information about the Spellyans