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Re: Sukhotin's Algorithm, vowels, etc.

I concede that "vowel" might be a misnomer here, but the "r" found in words like "ctvrthodina" is a continuant--it can be, and is here, pronounced as a consonantal nucleus without the help of what we'd call a vowel. In fact, God help us, there are a couple of Amerindian languages in British Columbia that are almost truly vowelless--sounds such as [s], [f], and [x] (the sound rendered by Czech "ch" serve as syllabic nuclei.

-Scott Hersey

On Sat, 20 Jan 2001 13:46:06   Mark Perakh wrote:
>If r serves as a vowel, which vowel does it represent? I believe there is always some real
>vowel implied which is pronounced very shortly and which may vary depending on the word while
>r itself has no definite vowel value. How would you transliterate ctvrt using English
>equivalents? If r were just a plain vowel, you would have to choose between a, e, i, u and o,
>replacing r in pronounciation. Is it ctvet, ctvit, ctvot or ctvut? Actually r is not omitted
>but pronounced in conjunction with some short vowel, which is close to e, namely like
>CeTVeRT, with a stress either on the first or on the second very short e.  Czech experts,
>tell me please how it is pronounced.  Cheers, Mark
>Rene Zandbergen wrote:
>> Scott Hersey wrote:
>> > As I understand, "ctvrthodina"--properly spelled with a hook over the c--is stressed
>> > on the first syllable, as is virtually every other Czech word in the standard language.
>> > The first vowel here is "r",
>> This was my guess.
>> >  The orthography's a little inconsistent here: the c is pronounced in this context
>> > like "sh" in "shot",
>> "ch" as in "chip" (?)
>> > so the word is roughly pronounced "shtvRthodina."
>> With a little twist: chtvRt-ho-dyee-na
>> To get back to the original subject, 'r' and 'l' can figure
>> both as vowels and consonants in Czech. This would throw
>> Sukhotin's algorithm off a bit, but probably not much, since
>> they are far more frequently consonants. Czech has in fact
>> quite a few more consonants than, say, English, but I don't
>> know how it was written in the 15th C. Mnishowski (17th C)
>> does in fact use at least one odd symbol: a gamma-like
>> symbol which appears only at the beginning and end of the
>> word, and represents 's'.
>> Cheers, Rene

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