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  1. #1
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    "w" and "wh", strange accent

    Here's the file: File:Grey Heron.ogg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The man's speaking involves a feature that is completely new to me. He pronounces "w" in words like "wading", "wing", "winter", "west" in a strange way that to me is something between [w] and [v], and that it's difficult for me to even imitate, let alone name. In the first word, "wading" it's more of a [w] to me and in the others, more of a [v].

    Then, he pronounces "wh" in "white" as a clear [w]. I know there can be a difference between "wh" and "w" in some dialects but I thought the only possible distinction was that between /w/ and /ʍ/ (the voiceless labio-velar aproximant).

    Are you familar with this? What could be the man's accent?

    PS: Sorry about trying to answer my own question again, but I've just found this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonolo...odentalization

    Does it have anything to do with the problem? I don't really think it does because it's about pronouncing "wh" like [f] and "w" like /w/, and my case is the inverse of it.
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 28-Sep-2010 at 12:33.

  2. #2
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: "w" and "wh", strange accent

    Form lower down the Wikipedia page:

    ...
    Description Grey Heron.ogg

    This is a spoken word version of the article: Grey Heron

    * Corresponding article version: Click here to see the article as it was read
    * Accent: Neutral Singaporean
    ...
    I haven't time to listen now, but this may answer your question.

    b

  3. #3
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "w" and "wh", strange accent

    Thanks! I did some thinking and searching and I believe he must be using the bilabial approximant there. Would you agree?

  4. #4
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: "w" and "wh", strange accent

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Thanks! I did some thinking and searching and I believe he must be using the bilabial approximant there. Would you agree?
    Sounds probable. There must be some L1 interference here. I know only one thing about Malay: that the word for coffee is spelt with a p. If there are unvoiced bilabial approximants, it's a fairly safe bet that there will be voiced ones.

    b

  5. #5
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "w" and "wh", strange accent

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Sounds probable. There must be some L1 interference here. I know only one thing about Malay: that the word for coffee is spelt with a p. If there are unvoiced bilabial approximants, it's a fairly safe bet that there will be voiced ones.

    b
    Thanks again. But I don't understand what you're saying. What's L1? And do you mean that /p/ is a bilabial approximant?

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: "w" and "wh", strange accent

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Thanks again. But I don't understand what you're saying. What's L1? And do you mean that /p/ is a bilabial approximant?
    L1 = first language. 'L1 interference' is carrying over features of one's native language into a 2nd language.

    /p/ isn't; I thought that "p" might well be used to represent one in a Latin typeface that doesn't have the right IPA symbol. Come to think of it, the European importers of coffee, influenced by their own L1 interference, might even hear it as a 'sort of P-ish sound'.

    b

  7. #7
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "w" and "wh", strange accent

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    L1 = first language. 'L1 interference' is carrying over features of one's native language into a 2nd language.

    /p/ isn't; I thought that "p" might well be used to represent one in a Latin typeface that doesn't have the right IPA symbol. Come to think of it, the European importers of coffee, influenced by their own L1 interference, might even hear it as a 'sort of P-ish sound'.

    b
    I see. I think it's not exactly an L1 interference. He sounds very much like a native speaker of English to me. I read English is the main language of Singapore, but there is also the so-called Singlish which is said to have the bilabial approximant. (Which, as far as I know, is strange to most European languages.) It could be a Singlish interference then maybe?

  8. #8
    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: "w" and "wh", strange accent

    - something like that. There are hundreds of native languages there. Some of them no doubt influenced Singlish.

    b

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