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    #1

    Rules on Anglicisation

    Hi,

    I've just started to study phonetics, and I've always a question about English phonetic rules and the formation of a new English vocabulary.
    I learnt that non-English words may be anglicised by changing their form and pronunciation to something more familiar to English speakers. Actually, what are the rules guiding the Anglicisation? Is there any rules stating the limit of the number of Vowels ("V") between Consonants ("C"), the order of the V and C and so on?

    Thank you very much for you help in advance.

    Cheers,

    Anson

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    #2

    Re: Rules on Anglicisation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ananlou View Post
    Hi,

    I've just started to study phonetics, and I've always a question about English phonetic rules and the formation of a new English vocabulary.
    I learnt that non-English words may be anglicised by changing their form and pronunciation to something more familiar to English speakers. Actually, what are the rules guiding the Anglicisation? Is there any rules stating the limit of the number of Vowels ("V") between Consonants ("C"), the order of the V and C and so on?

    Thank you very much for you help in advance.

    Cheers,

    Anson
    You're talking partly about transliteration.
    The rules depend on the language from which you are transliterating. Sometimes there are firm rules, sometimes not.
    For example, from Mandarin, there has been a formal change. We used to write Mao Tse Tung (Yale system), but we now write Mao Zedong (Pinyin system). The pronunciation has changed accordingly. Some names are more resilient. We still call Kung Fu Tsu 'Confucius'.
    From the Russian (cyrillic) alphabet, Tschaikovky has at times been written as Chaikowski, and other variants, and this sometimes changes the pronunciation, even though the original idea is to spell the word as closely as possible to an English version of the pronunciation.

    From languages that also use the roman alphabet, English will sometimes retain the original pronunciation, but usually only if the phonemes are already used in English. For example, not many English speakers would pronounce the double consonants in the Italian words cappuccino or mozzarella. Many French words and phrase do retain their original pronunciation. Perhaps French has a certain, er... je ne sais qua.

    As far as ordering V and C, a sensible rule would be to use only those structures and pronunciations that already exist in English.
    But it's a huge topic that you've raised. Do you have any examples that could be dealt with more concretely?


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    #3

    Re: Rules on Anglicisation

    Thank you very much Raymott.

    I've been wondering the V and C ordering cuz I thought I could have a better understanding on how the loanwords be anglicised in accordance with the precise rules in Engish, like the rules of assimilation for the coinage of new Englishvocabularies, if there's any. So, can I say there's actually no explicit rules but "CVC", "VCCV", "VCV", "VCCCV", "VV" are by far the adopted patterns for the vocab? Do they cover most of the vocab pattern in English?

    Thanks.

    Anson

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    #4

    Re: Rules on Anglicisation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ananlou View Post
    Thank you very much Raymott.

    I've been wondering the V and C ordering cuz I thought I could have a better understanding on how the loanwords be anglicised in accordance with the precise rules in Engish, like the rules of assimilation for the coinage of new Englishvocabularies, if there's any. So, can I say there's actually no explicit rules but "CVC", "VCCV", "VCV", "VCCCV", "VV" are by far the adopted patterns for the vocab? Do they cover most of the vocab pattern in English?

    Thanks.

    Anson
    There are no "precise rules of English", in terms of order of consonants and vowels.
    For example, some words have no vowels (although "y" is called a semivowel in this case): myth, rhythm ...
    As far as phonetics/phonology goes, some words have no consonant sounds: I, a, ear, our, hour (unless you're rhotic).
    The number of consonants and vowels you can put together in English depends entirely on what those sounds are. For example, words don't start with /sd/ or /sb/ (as they do in Italian), /scht/, /schm/ (as in Yiddish), /sr/ (as in Hindi Sri), etc.
    It looks like you're trying to find rules based on false premises.


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    #5

    Re: Rules on Anglicisation

    Thanks a lot, Raymott.

    Yup, I knew I was in a wrong direction n I just realise that I should refer to the topic of "Phonotatic rules" for the general idea of the sound restriction in English, instead of looking for precise rules.

    Regards,

    Anson

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    #6

    Re: Rules on Anglicisation

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    For example, some words have no vowels (although "y" is called a semivowel in this case): myth, rhythm ...
    If I may, I don't think this is quite right. The "y" in these words is a vowel (essentially an alternative spelling of "i" - often, though not always, used in words of ancient Greek origin).

    There is a semivowel "y", but that is the pronunciation you get in words like "yet" or "yellow".

    At least I hope this right

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    #7

    Re: Rules on Anglicisation

    Quote Originally Posted by orangutan View Post
    If I may, I don't think this is quite right. The "y" in these words is a vowel (essentially an alternative spelling of "i" - often, though not always, used in words of ancient Greek origin).

    There is a semivowel "y", but that is the pronunciation you get in words like "yet" or "yellow".

    At least I hope this right
    Yes, I think you're right. Thanks for pulling me up on that.
    So if "y" is a semivowel in "yet" and a vowel in "myth", when is it a consonant?

    By the way, feel free to correct me whenever you think I might be wrong. Sometimes I get a bit lazy on points that don't touch on the main question.
    Last edited by Raymott; 11-May-2009 at 20:40.

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    #8

    Re: Rules on Anglicisation

    For me a semivowel is precisely a vowel-like element that finds itself in a consonant position in a syllable (e.g. part of the onset). So semi-vowel "y" is an "i" sound in a position where it could be a consonant - "yet" as compared with "get".

    Conversely when you get consonant-like sounds in a vowel-like position in the syllable (the nucleus), you get things like syllabic nasals or liquids.

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