Friday, March 12, 2010
Chomsky SPE rule 43
D: Sorry for the lousy pic quality. I don't have a better way to scan the pertinent diagram.
Just look at the columns of numbers. It shows how SPE changes the values of stressed syllables with each step.
D - I am finally reading Chomsky's "Sound Patterns of English". I'm finding the notation very confusing, and have just started to skip it, to deal with it later. There is a reason I nearly failed calculus. Failed stats. Stopped chemistry in grade 11 (what is a mole again?). I suspect symbolic logic will have the same problem...
Anyway, I'm in awe of how nuanced English syllable stress is.
SPE has convinced me of a few things.
1) a natural language can be vastly more complex and nuanced than an aux-lang (auxiliary language)
2) English is good as a first childhood language, in general
3) English is a terrible choice as an adult second language
4) an aux-lang can never be anywhere near the complexity of a natural language
5) an aux-lang can be ideal as an adult second language.
Chomsky's SPE. The line of thought behind a revised syllable stress approach.
SPE contains examples of how to identify syllable stress.
Page 38 -the word used for example is " relaxation".
I'd like to apologize now. The blog interface made a terrible mess of my spacing.
D: rule 43: (page 34) - within a word, all non-main stresses are weakened by one
This "Stress Adjustment Rule" is at the very core of the SPE system.
D - Does SPE work? Sure. However, Rule 43 is not elegant. I know that sounds silly for me to say, LOL.
Rule 43 results in a syllable stress value for the word "relaxation" of 3-4-1. Please refer to SPE and my pic.
D: Now I propose an alternative approach. My system duplicates the result of Rule 43, but as the first step.
I'd also like to point out I had 2 different approaches. One did not get the syllable stress correct. It created a gap of 2 spaces instead of 1 syllable stress space at the wrong point.
Here is my suggestion for NO RULE 43.
Use of an integer # system, with a special rule, duplicates the result of Rule 43.
It does so because I do not allow a syllable stress to rest at the value of zero.
Syllables are moved to either a plus or minus number value.
Because zero is skipped, my integer # system automatically creates a gap of 2 spaces in the syllable stress system.
In this respect, it manages to duplicate the spacing created by Rule 43.
My integer system, I think, at least to me, is more clear.
It requires a very different visual layout.
I now compare Rule 43 to my proposed integer # system.
re lax a tion
re lax A tion
[re lax}a tion
.....+1 rule 47, case 48f (integer system)
.....+1 +2 note 29 (" ")
-1 +1 +2 note 29
(Note - you see this is my first attempt. It does not quite work. It does not create the same result as Rule 43)
The first step is to anticipate the "Ation" affix. We do so by placing the stem "relax" to the left of zero.
So re-lax has syllable stress values of -2 -1.
When we add the affix "Ation", which we must consider from the very beginning, we add it to the RIGHT of zero.
So re-lax-Ation has the stress values of -2 -1 - +1.
...-3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3...
..............relax--------- -begin at zero
..........re lax-------- -- -assign stress, with stressed + and unstressed -. no value can be zero or the same.
..........re lax--ation- -duplication of steps
Dammit, the blog interface is screwing up my spacing!
D: as you can see, skipping the value of zero in my integer # system duplicates Rule 43.
1) Without noting the initial stem stress, at each step we know we cannot reduce the vowel in "lax".
We know this because my system only can reduce a vowel at a value of -2 or less.
2) By 'stepping off of zero' as the initial step, we replicate the range of Rule 43, with a gap of 2 between the syllables
stressed 1 and 3 respectively.
3) the stress value of a syllable, once assigned, NEVER has to change.
Well, I like it.
To summarize my integer system:
Here is a proposed alternative system that is stronger in 2 ways:
1) it used Integer Numbers instead, with zero as the initial springboard, never using zero after the initial step
2) it more clearly indicates which syllables were stressed at various stages, removing the burden to recall the initial stem
syllable stress for the purpose of vowel reduction later.
3) a stress value is never changed once assigned to a syllable!
D: I'll hash out a complete system, largely based on cross-mapping SPE's approach onto my integer system.
Of course, first I need to finish SPE! It is an amazing work, but slow going. I have no background in linguistics.
For that matter, my system if NOT a system. It is presently only an example involving a single word.
(If you liked that, check out my blog a few weeks ago on a 'propaganda-resistant' vocabulary basis! <:)
Decimese, as you may know by now, is a work-in-progress. It is my idea of what an auxiliary language should be.
I have only nailed now nailed down the phonotactics after two years of work.
I have no background in linguistics, so am learning this stuff as I go!
I will work at this as the decades progress. It is my labour of love. I am pouring all my love into it.
I hope that will matter, one day.
Decimese, long and short vowels, and likely English speaker instinctive consonant voicing.
I took a look at the "Italian vowels". AEIOU. "I" as in Machine (ee). "O" as in doughnut (oh).
An Anglo will try to shift consonant voicing to reflect this.
E..g compare potassium and gymnasium.
Poh- tahss... But gym nayZ.
So an Anglo would try to convert the letter order CVCV - C1V1C2V2, if V1 is O and C2 is S, into the phonetic version -OZ- not -OS, no matter what is written.
D: Decimese (the phonotactics are done- I just need to post the diphthongs) does not require the S/Z pair to be denoted.
The above system indicates the problem with
a) having both voiced and voiceless pairs of consonants in core vocabulary building,
b) having both long and short vowels,
c) and a mindless 'clockwork morphology'.
Honestly, one could even skip differentiating S/Z and any other consonant pair, and word boundaries, even without spacing, remain clear.
Next blog: how will English speakers distort Esperanto? What sounds will get deformed?
Posted by Dino Snider at 7:33 AM