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    #21

    Re: no ə alphabet in English

    More importantly, syllable divisions aren't very significant in English. I have a feeling they're much more important in Korean, so Korean learners of English give them more attention than they deserve. The only reason native speakers are taught syllable boundaries is so they can place hyphens correctly when they break a word in typing — something rarely done since typewriters went out of use.
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    #22

    Re: no ə alphabet in English

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    More importantly, syllable divisions aren't very significant in English. I have a feeling they're much more important in Korean, so Korean learners of English give them more attention than they deserve.
    Yes, I think that's right.

    I guess that's related to the fact that Korean is a syllable-timed language whereas English is stress-timed.

  3. keannu's Avatar
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    #23

    Re: no ə alphabet in English

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    More importantly, syllable divisions aren't very significant in English. I have a feeling they're much more important in Korean, so Korean learners of English give them more attention than they deserve. The only reason native speakers are taught syllable boundaries is so they can place hyphens correctly when they break a word in typing something rarely done since typewriters went out of use.
    Do you mean English words are not syllable-based but stress-based?
    When you pronounce a word, don't you recognize there are a certain number of syllables and pronounce by distinguishing each syllable?
    Is it why the Romans created alphabet in that way? Does Italian have the same stress-based pronunciation?
    I studied Italian, but it seems to have distinct syllable-based pronunciation.

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    #24

    Re: no ə alphabet in English

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    When you pronounce a word, don't you recognize there are a certain number of syllables and pronounce by distinguishing each syllable?
    We don't think in terms of syllables at all unless we actually need to. We just say a word the way we know it's said. We don't routinely count syllables.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #25

    Re: no ə alphabet in English

    And the only time we think about where syllables begin and end is when we're deciding where to break a word that doesn't fit on a line. That hardly ever comes up anymore, so most people never think about this at all.
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    #26

    Re: no ə alphabet in English

    With a syllable-timed language, each syllable gets roughly equal time. Therefore, the more syllables, the greater the amount of time to complete the sentence.

    With stress timed languages, unstressed syllables are dramatically shortened, and typically only key content words are stressed, so the number of syllables doesn't really affect the amount of time to complete the sentence. A sentence with 10 syllables might take the same amount of time as one with 20 syllables, because even some of those one-syllable words won't be stressed.

    Yes, Italian is a syllable timed language, as are French and Spanish. English, Swedish, and German are stress timed. All of these use a Roman alphabet. You can't make the assumption that a shared alphabet necessarily reflects a shared stress relationship.

    The Hangul alphabet is unique, because it's an artificially constructed writing system designed from the ground up to promote literacy.

    As you know, prior to the invention of Hangul, Korean used a mix of several different writing systems,including Classical Chinese, plus several other native phonetic scripts. The resulting mix was a terribly complicated writing system that required lengthy study to master. Hangul keeps some aspects of Chinese writing (i.e. the idea that a character includes a guide to pronouncing the syllable), but wiped the slate clean with simplified strokes that represented sounds only (whereas Chinese symbols also held clues to morphological meanings as well). Thus the axiom of an intelligent man learning Hangul before noon, and a slow man still able to learn it within a few days.

    Korean is an example of a true, "pure" alphabet - one letter for each sound. Although we refer to the Roman system as an alphabet, it's not a true alphabet for English because we don't have a letter for each sound. English has around 44 sounds, but only 26 letters to represent them. That's because we've adopted the Roman alphabet for English, which absorbed more sounds from other languages, whereas the original Roman Alphabet was just for Latin sounds.

    In some aspects, writing English today is somewhat like writing Korean prior to Hangul. However, at the time Hangul was invented and implemented, there was a relatively small population to mandate the change upon. Imagine trying to introduce a English writing reform in this day in age across how many different nations?
    Last edited by Skrej; 14-Jan-2020 at 23:49. Reason: typo
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  7. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #27

    Re: no ə alphabet in English

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    1) Do you mean English words are not syllable-based but stress-based?
    2) When you pronounce a word, don't you recognize there are a certain number of syllables and pronounce by distinguishing each syllable?
    3) Is it why the Romans created alphabet in that way?
    4) Does Italian have the same stress-based pronunciation?
    1) I don't think that's what GoesStation meant, no.
    2) Yes.
    3) No.
    4) No. Italian is syllable-timed.

  8. keannu's Avatar
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    #28

    Re: no ə alphabet in English

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    With a syllable-timed language, each syllable gets roughly equal time. Therefore, the more syllables, the greater the amount of time to complete the sentence.

    With stress timed languages, unstressed syllables are dramatically shortened, and typically only key content words are stressed, so the number of syllables doesn't really affect the amount of time to complete the sentence. A sentence with 10 syllables might take the same amount of time as one with 20 syllables, because even some of those one-syllable words won't be stressed.

    Yes, Italian is a syllable timed language, as are French and Spanish. English, Swedish, and German are stress timed. All of these use a Roman alphabet. You can't make the assumption that a shared alphabet necessarily reflects a shared stress relationship.

    The Hangul alphabet is unique, because it's an artificially constructed writing system designed from the ground up to promote literacy.

    As you know, prior to the invention of Hangul, Korean used a mix of several different writing systems,including Classical Chinese, plus several other native phonetic scripts. The resulting mix was a terribly complicated writing system that required lengthy study to master. Hangul keeps some aspects of Chinese writing (i.e. the idea that a character includes a guide to pronouncing the syllable), but wiped the slate clean with simplified strokes that represented sounds only (whereas Chinese symbols also held clues to morphological meanings as well). Thus the axiom of an intelligent man learning Hangul before noon, and a slow man still able to learn it within a few days.

    Korean is an example of a true, "pure" alphabet - one letter for each sound. Although we refer to the Roman system as an alphabet, it's not a true alphabet for English because we don't have a letter for each sound. English has around 44 sounds, but only 26 letters to represent them. That's because we've adopted the Roman alphabet for English, which absorbed more sounds from other languages, whereas the original Roman Alphabet was just for Latin sounds.

    In some aspects, writing English today is somewhat like writing Korean prior to Hangul. However, at the time Hangul was invented and implemented, there was a relatively small population to mandate the change upon. Imagine trying to introduce a English writing reform in this day in age across how many different nations?
    I'm so amazed to know that you know quite well about Hangul. We hadn't had our own chatacter system until as late as the 14th century, King Sejong invented it as he felt a great sympathy for the people having a hard time communicating and writing their ideas without any characters that match Korean pronunciations.

    Yes, as you said, there can be stress-timed languages or syllable-times ones, but both of them have syllables even though some syllables are unstressed. Even though English is stress-based, it doesn't mean there are no syllables in words and the choice or the Roman characters was not because the English pronunciations go well with them.

    Writing words by syllable is a lot more convenient than writing each letter just continuously. These are the examples of syllable comparison between English and Korean.

    *common case
    English : internet[in/ter/net] - each syllable is pronounced distinctively and separately
    Korean : 인터넷[ɪn/tər/net] - same as above
    * liaison case
    English : artificial : [|ɑːrtɪfɪʃl] : Do you think "t" is the bottom consonant of [ɑːrt] or the top consonant of [tɪ] or does it not matter?
    Korean : 남아 [나/마=na/ma] - ㅁ, the bottom consonant goes up to the top consonant

    Even Korean has liaisons in a word or between words, so those words may sound as if there is no boundary between syllables. I think this can happen in every language. I think syllable-based notation is a lot easier to recognize than continuous-letter notation whether a language is stress-based or syllable-based.
    Last edited by keannu; 16-Jan-2020 at 04:27.

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    #29

    Re: no ə alphabet in English

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    *common case
    English : internet[in/ter/net] - each syllable is pronounced distinctively and separately
    Korean : 인터넷[ɪn/tər/net] - same as above
    It doesn't matter. Where syllables begin and end is not important in English. (Most Americans don't pronounce the first /t/ in "internet". It sounds the same as inner net.)

    * liaison case
    English : artificial : [|ɑːrtɪ│fɪʃl] : Do you think "t" is the bottom consonant of [ɑːrt] or the top consonant of [tɪ] or does it not matter?
    It doesn't matter. Anglophones aren't aware of the distinction.
    Last edited by GoesStation; 16-Jan-2020 at 13:08.
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  10. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #30

    Re: no ə alphabet in English

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Writing words by syllable is a lot more convenient than writing each letter just continuously.
    Is it? It requires more letters, and doesn't account for regional pronunciations- take a word like bath and compare it across regions. It would require different spellings in different areas. English spelling is particularly weird as a consequence of the history that led to its development, but there are European languages with a far more logical and consistent writing system that enjoy the full benefits of the simplicity of the Roman alphabet.

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