Friday, January 30, 2009

Develarization of Final Nasals: Going, Goin', Gonna

(For those of you who do not speak phonetics, velar nasals are the /ng/ sound, IPA [ŋ])

The English language has a strange relationship with velar nasals. Like most languages, we have them, and like most western IE languages, they do not generally appear at the beginnings of words. But we have assigned them a weird social significance. Lower prestige forms of English often change final velar nasals to alveolar nasals (and in writing change the velar nasal digraph /ng/ to /n'/). In addition, if one wanted to sound especially (even pretentiously) correct, one might separately pronounce the terminal /g/. For example, the word "going" could be pronounced three ways: standard [ɡowɪŋ], colloquial/low prestige [ɡowɪn], pretentious/high prestige [ɡoiŋɡ].

What this suggests is a correlation between the rendering of the velar nasal as a digraph and an interpretation of the two graphemes as different parts of the single phoneme. Thus, there appears to be a presumed positive correlation between number of sounds and amount of prestige.

Additionally of note is the specificity of this rule. It is only applied to the ends of present tense verbs and gerunds. So, while a phone might be ringin', in standard colloquial American English it will never rin'.


2009: It's in the MMIX

Howdy folks! It's another update after something of a break. Just a deficit of inspiration time and a surplus of shit to do.

Things I've been doing include:
-Celebrating Yuletide and New Years and junk
~Getting snowed on a bunch
*Celebrating America 44.0
%Finishing grad school applications and plotting my escape
¡Recording awesome music!
∏Going up Italy

Items - and ~ are pretty self explanatory. It snowed and it Chrismas'd and stuff and we all had a merry and frustrating time.

America 44.0 is off to a pretty good start. 'Bamers and Co. are doing a lot of good and it looks like we're not going to regret all that hoping and twittering we did for them. I really like the part where he signs laws that make sense and reflect my opinions about things, and says things that aren't thoroughly moronic.

I applied to linguistics programs at University of Hawaii, Northwestern University, University of Pennsylvania, and NYU. They all have great programs. I feel like my prospects are best at NYU and Hawaii, but have know real idea if or where I'll get in. In any case I am planning to move out of Seattle to some place like Philadelphia or Honolulu or Cardiff.

I've been doing studio work for about the past month on a solo metal album that will totally rock your socks so hard that they won't be socks anymore, but metal boots with spikes. Also you'll have gauntlets.

I got back on Wednesday night from a week in Italy, where I ate an extreme lot of pizza and pasta and gelato and cheese. It's amazing to me how much more flavorful cheese is there (damned pasteurization). Also, it's ridiculous how many paintings there are of the Madonna and Child and the Adoration of the Magi. But one thing that is truly universal is annoying teenagers on buses.

Coming soon: Notes on develarization of final nasals.