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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » When did "Hawaii" become "Hawai'i"? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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S2000magician
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Quote:
On 2009-03-12 14:37, cfrye wrote:
So we're both right!

Touché!

It does seem odd that, if they're concerned about ensuring that all of the vowels are pronounced separately, it isn't written Hawa'i'i.
cfrye
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You don't need a mark between the a and I because the language's pronunciation rules tell you to separate the two because, in traditional pronunciation, there are no dipthongs.

There is a mark between the i's because Polynesian languages, as well as Japanese, distinguish between short and long vowels. When you transliterate Polynesian languages to English, you need to insert a mark that tells you whether the character string ii is two distinct short vowels /i'i/ or one long vowel /ii/.



Curt
S2000magician
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On 2009-03-12 15:03, cfrye wrote:
There is a mark between the i's because Polynesian languages, as well as Japanese, distinguish between short and long vowels.

Got it.

Similarly with German.
stoneunhinged
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English also distinguishes between short and long vowels, last I checked.

Now, if the Germans had sent the first missionaries to Hawaii, there would be umlauts in it.

Häwahi.
cfrye
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English doesn't use vowel length to distinguish sounds as far as I know. Can you provide an example?


Curt
stoneunhinged
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Maybe I don't understand the question.

A as in apple is short.

A as in name is long.

At least that's how I learned it in school 35..40 years ago.

German has short and long vowel sounds, but they're not that common. A "u" before an "h" sounds like "oooh", as in "Huhn" (hen). And a short "u" is nearly impossible to describe in writing, but an example would be "Hund" (dog). Huhn and Hund do NOT sound the same.

Except for when I'm talking! Smile

It all sounds the same out of my mouth...even with umlauts.
S2000magician
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Quote:
On 2009-03-12 15:13, stoneunhinged wrote:
English also distinguishes between short and long vowels, last I checked.

I beleive that in German a short vowel sound and a long vowel sound are different only in (temporal) duration, and that the indicator of how long (in time) to pronounce the vowel sound is indicated by the number of vowels; e.g., the vowel sounds in bad and baad would have the same tone, but the latter would have a longer duration. (Are both bad and baad correct German words? I think that they are, but my German is extremely rusty.)

In English, the difference between a short vowel sound and a long vowel sound is one of tone, not duration; e.g., the vowel sounds in bad and bade are different tonally.
stoneunhinged
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No, that's not right about German.

The "U" in Huhn is not just longer than the "U" in Hund, but sounds different.

I learned this the hard way, when I invited friends over for a barbecue. I told them we'd have "chicken". They understood me to be offering "dog".

True story.

And yes, "baad" would be pronounced differently from "bad", though you won't hear it listening to me speak. The difference is so sleight that only native speakers hear it. I just sound like an American, either way.

OK, back to English:

What about "roof"? In some accents it is not a duration thing, but a change of the actual sound. "Rooohf" or "Rouhf".

Isn't that a long short kind of distinction?
cfrye
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Yes, we are mixing terms. As S2000magician (sorry, don't remember your real name) said, in phonetics short and long vowels are distinguished by duration. The "a" in apple is a mid-vowel, meaning you produce it using the middle of your mouth. The "a" in name is a front vowel, meaning you produce it with the front of your mouth.

If you said "apple" and it meant the fruit but then extended the "a" so that it sounded like "aaple" and it meant a bright red 1970 Calloway Corvette, then you would have a distinction based on vowel length.



Curt
cfrye
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Quote:
On 2009-03-12 16:13, stoneunhinged wrote:
What about "roof"? In some accents it is not a duration thing, but a change of the actual sound. "Rooohf" or "Rouhf".

Isn't that a long short kind of distinction?


In painfully exacting phonetic terms, no. Your example is one where the part of the mouth you use to produce the sound is influenced by your regional dialect. In Standard American English the vowel sound in "roof" rhymes with "pool"; in Southern, Appalachian, and Midwestern dialects, it rhymes with "pull".


Curt
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stoneunhinged
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Curt Curt, this discussion is way over my head already.

My parents are Texans, and although I grew up in Taiwan and Hawaii, when I say "roof" it rhymes with "pull" and not "pool".

But that is EXACTLY the distinction between "Huhn" and "Hund". "Huhn" uses the "pool" sound, and "Hund" uses the "pull" sound.

I've got a gig tomorrow night, and a full day of work before hand, so I've got to go do some work before hitting the sack.

You guys have my utmost respect!
MagicSanta
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I asked my friend from Hawaii about the accent thingy and she asked when the heck did they start putting that in. Oh, for fun I pronounce Nevada the Canada but with an N at the beginning. If anyone complains I pronounce it by changing the e to an a and the first a into an e.
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