Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-11-2019, 10:43 AM
Sitnam is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 9,109

The missing sounds in the International Phonetic Alphabet


So THIS CHART of consonants is a diagram of what the human mouth can do. The symbols represent a sound found in some language somewhere. The dark squares are sounds the human mouth just cannot make. The blank white squares are sounds we can make, they just don't have a symbol because they have never been found in any language. For instance, Palatal Lateral Frictive would be called 'snoring'.

I would love to know what the other white boxes would sound like.
  #2  
Old 09-11-2019, 11:48 AM
Derleth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Missoula, Montana, USA
Posts: 21,216
Here's a link which isn't needlessly obfuscated.

There's a whole Wikipedia page on extensions to the IPA or extIPA, with symbols for the transcription of disorderd speech, like the speech of people with lisps and cleft palates.
  #3  
Old 09-11-2019, 12:19 PM
Sitnam is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 9,109
Right, but I am asking specifically about the white boxes, the sounds linguists have decided we can make but do not have a symbol for because they aren't in any language.
  #4  
Old 09-11-2019, 01:49 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 11,933
Some of them you can figure out how to make by comparison.

The upper-left most white box on the top row, Plosive Labio-dental isn't hard to make. Just make your mouth like you're saying "f" but do a burst of air like you do for p or b. It makes a sort of (unvoiced) f-ish or (voiced) v-ish sound that kind of trails off. It makes me think of the sort of noise you'd make if you wanted to make the sound-effect of a dart flying through the air with your mouth.

Similarly, you can make a Labio-dental trill. It sounds... hard to describe but it's not hard to do.

I bet you could give the chart to Michael Winslow and he could make all the noises in a few minutes.
  #5  
Old 09-11-2019, 02:11 PM
Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 36,098
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthewalrus(:3= View Post
Some of them you can figure out how to make by comparison.
Right, this is what I was going to say.

And the white boxes don't necessarily mean that linguists haven't found any language that uses those sounds.

For example, Indian languages like Bengali, Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu), and Sanskrit have dental plosives [t̪] [d̪], which would go in the white box just to the left of [t] [d]. Sanskrit also has a dental nasal [n̪], which go just to the left of [n].

This chart isn't exhaustive. There are plenty of phonemes in a lot of languages that aren't accounted for.

For example, it doesn't distinguish between the aspirated and non-aspirated plosives of Indian languages.

It doesn't distinguish between the palatalized and velarized consonants of Irish.

It doesn't include the palatalized consonants of Russian.

It doesn't have all the "breathy" consonants of Old English (hn, hw, hl, hr) and Welsh.
__________________
*I'm experimenting with E, em, and es and emself as pronouns that do not indicate any specific gender nor exclude any specific gender.
  #6  
Old 09-11-2019, 02:22 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 11,933
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthewalrus(:3= View Post
Similarly, you can make a Labio-dental trill. It sounds... hard to describe but it's not hard to do.
Actually, on second thought, I'm not sure I'm doing this right. I was trilling my tongue like you would for an r-trill while keeping my mouth in the f-shape. But for B, it's not a vibrating tongue, it's vibrating lips. So I think to do a Labio-dental trill, you'd have to vibrate your lower lip against your teeth (or, possibly, the other way around, which probably requires being 8-years-old or a hockey player), which I haven't figured out how to do yet, and I am becoming slightly concerned that my coworkers might be wondering what's up with all the v-b-f-trilling coming from my office so further experimentation will have to wait.

Last edited by iamthewalrus(:3=; 09-11-2019 at 02:22 PM.
  #7  
Old 09-13-2019, 05:13 AM
Johanna's Avatar
Johanna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Altered States of America
Posts: 13,393
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
For example, Indian languages like Bengali, Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu), and Sanskrit have dental plosives [t̪] [d̪], which would go in the white box just to the left of [t] [d]. Sanskrit also has a dental nasal [n̪], which go just to the left of [n].

This chart isn't exhaustive. There are plenty of phonemes in a lot of languages that aren't accounted for.

For example, it doesn't distinguish between the aspirated and non-aspirated plosives of Indian languages.

It doesn't distinguish between the palatalized and velarized consonants of Irish.

It doesn't include the palatalized consonants of Russian.

It doesn't have all the "breathy" consonants of Old English (hn, hw, hl, hr) and Welsh.
Those sounds are covered by the list of diacritics further down the chart.
  #8  
Old 09-13-2019, 05:55 AM
Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 36,098
Sure, but the point is that the OP’s notion that the chart is exhaustive and that white boxes indicate theoretical sounds that haven’t been identified in any actual human language is erroneous.
__________________
*I'm experimenting with E, em, and es and emself as pronouns that do not indicate any specific gender nor exclude any specific gender.
  #9  
Old 09-14-2019, 05:48 AM
Johanna's Avatar
Johanna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Altered States of America
Posts: 13,393
No, the consonant chart is meant to show the places of articulation. The diacritics are to show the mode of articulation, as well as small tweaks to the positioning. All of the phonemes you mentioned are covered by the chart + diacritics.
  #10  
Old 09-14-2019, 06:59 AM
Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 36,098
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johanna View Post
No, the consonant chart is meant to show the places of articulation. The diacritics are to show the mode of articulation, as well as small tweaks to the positioning. All of the phonemes you mentioned are covered by the chart + diacritics.
The dental plosives are defined by the place of articulation. There’s a whole column for them already.
__________________
*I'm experimenting with E, em, and es and emself as pronouns that do not indicate any specific gender nor exclude any specific gender.
  #11  
Old 09-14-2019, 07:48 AM
Monty's Avatar
Monty is offline
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Beijing, China
Posts: 23,348
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
Right, this is what I was going to say.

And the white boxes don't necessarily mean that linguists haven't found any language that uses those sounds.

For example, Indian languages like Bengali, Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu), and Sanskrit have dental plosives [t̪] [d̪], which would go in the white box just to the left of [t] [d]. Sanskrit also has a dental nasal [n̪], which go just to the left of [n].

This chart isn't exhaustive. There are plenty of phonemes in a lot of languages that aren't accounted for.

For example, it doesn't distinguish between the aspirated and non-aspirated plosives of Indian languages.

It doesn't distinguish between the palatalized and velarized consonants of Irish.

It doesn't include the palatalized consonants of Russian.

It doesn't have all the "breathy" consonants of Old English (hn, hw, hl, hr) and Welsh.
And, IIRC, the IPA doesn't account for the tensed consonants in Korean, which is represented in 한글 with doubled consonants.
  #12  
Old 09-14-2019, 08:34 AM
Johanna's Avatar
Johanna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Altered States of America
Posts: 13,393
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty View Post
And, IIRC, the IPA doesn't account for the tensed consonants in Korean, which is represented in 한글 with doubled consonants.
They're still working on that.
Quote:
The "tense" segments, also referred to as "fortis," "hard," or "glottalized," have eluded precise description and have been the subject of considerable phonetic investigation.
Meanwhile, there's an IPA diacritic that can handle the job. Maybe once the phoneticians have figured out just what's going on in those sounds, this diacritic will be promoted from the Extensions to the main chart.
Quote:
The IPA diacritic ⟨◌͈⟩, resembling a subscript double straight quotation mark, shown here with a placeholder circle, is used to denote the tensed consonants /p͈/, /t͈/, /k͈/, /t͈ɕ/, /s͈/. Its official use in the Extensions to the IPA is for strong articulation, but is used in literature for faucalized voice. The Korean consonants also have elements of stiff voice, but it is not yet known how typical that is of faucalized consonants. They are produced with a partially constricted glottis and additional subglottal pressure in addition to tense vocal tract walls, laryngeal lowering, or other expansion of the larynx.
An alternative analysis proposes that the "tensed" series of sounds are (fundamentally) regular voiceless, unaspirated consonants: the "lax" sounds are voiced consonants that become devoiced initially, and the primary distinguishing feature between word-initial "lax" and "tensed" consonants is that initial lax sounds cause the following vowel to assume a low-to-high pitch contour, a feature reportedly associated with voiced consonants in many Asian languages, whereas tensed (and also aspirated) consonants are associated with a uniformly high pitch.
The Extensions to the IPA cover a lot more possibilities that aren't in the main chart.

Last edited by Johanna; 09-14-2019 at 08:36 AM.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:11 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017