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#498856 - 07/28/08 07:31 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1710
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
Ok, class. Your next assignment is to list all the various pronounciations of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Ah, little Welsh villages...
_________________________
Die Krebs gehn zurcke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.

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#498857 - 07/28/08 07:41 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
hopinmad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
There's only one pronounciation if which I know!
_________________________
Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

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#498858 - 07/28/08 07:56 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by hopinmad:
Concerning the previous posts on stressing syllables in "Chopin" . . . even if it's correct in French to accent the second (or last) syllable, it's not done so as strongly as in America. It's said in American in American way (as was mentioned earlier, is fashionable) that gives a much stronger stress on the second syllable.[/b]
hopinmad, once again I will try to address this misapprehension about the "American way" of pronouncing Chopin. \:\)

From Merriam-Webster (identical to the pronunciation I already provided from Wikipedia, but not written in IPA):

\ˈshō-ˌpan, -ˌpaⁿ\

This is Merriam-Webster's audio:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/audio.pl?bixcho05.wav=Chopin
 Quote:
Originally posted by hopinmad:
I give only a slight stress on the first, if any actually, and others I've heard in the area say it the same.[/b]
That sounds like a description of the Merriam-Webster audio clip, and it's the pronunciation I've heard all my life.

The U.S. is a big country, with plenty of regional and demographic variants. I'm not disputing that some Americans stress the second syllable or that you might have encountered that in American speech, but it's not the norm.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#498859 - 07/28/08 07:56 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11724
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
There's only one pronounciation if which I know!
Two, if you go to some regions of Quebec - the "in" has a kind of reverb to it. ;\)

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#498860 - 07/28/08 08:04 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11724
Loc: Canada
Would it make sense for PW to create an audiofile of correct pronunciation of the names of composers or works in foreign languages, created by people of that nationality? Surely it doesn't make sense for an international community to hear the American pronunciation of a French name.

One of the jobs that linguists get hired to do is the creation of audiofiles and dubbing, of course. I can't make sense of the pronunciation dictionaries I found on-line, with some horrid mispronciations - why bother create the file in that case?

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#498861 - 07/28/08 08:12 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
Surely it doesn't make sense for an international community to hear the American pronunciation of a French name.[/b]
I don't follow this. We're an international community of English speakers, and there are standard English pronunciations for foreign words and names—and necessarily so in the many cases of sounds that don't exist in English and can only be approximated.

I'm not referring to any pronunciations that are uniquely American, but rather those which are standard throughout the English-speaking world. Why would anyone find that not to make sense? It might be interesting and even valuable to hear how something is pronounced in its native language, but that's not what we're speaking. And the native speakers of other languages already know how to pronounce their words!

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#498862 - 07/28/08 08:31 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11724
Loc: Canada
I simply thought it would be good to have a neutral reference of how names are pronounced in the country of origin. But also in reference to what you wrote, this international community corresponds in the English language because there must be a common language. That does not make it a community of English speakers. Even if it were, I am not certain that there is one standard English version of foreign names across the different English speaking countries. Canada, for example, is officially bilingual with every school child being obligated to learn the French language. I imagine it is much more likely for French names to be pronounced in the French manner including having the accent on the correct syllable - in other words, Canada's pronunciation of French names may be different than America's pronunciation of French names. I cannot speak to Britain, Australia, parts of Africa because I'm not familiar with how such things are pronounced there.

I don't know for a fact whether there is a standard English manner of pronouncing foreign words. For me, in any case, it's a strange concept, because I have always pronounced a word in the manner of its language of origin. In all naivete, until today I did not know that there was such a thing as a standard English pronunciation of foreign names.

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#498863 - 07/28/08 09:08 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
But also in reference to what you wrote, this international community corresponds in the English language because there must be a common language. That does not make it a community of English speakers.[/b]
That's really splitting hairs! How about a community of English writers, then, since we're not actually "speaking" English?
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
Canada, for example, is officially bilingual with every school child being obligated to learn the French language. I imagine it is much more likely for French names to be pronounced in the French manner including having the accent on the correct syllable - in other words, Canada's pronunciation of French names may be different than America's pronunciation of French names. [/b]
I would be surprised, except in the case of francophone or bilingual Canadians. Anyone else anywhere who's learned French should theoretically be able to pronounce French words as they are pronounced in French, but would they really do so within the context of speaking English? It's plausible, but would seem (to this American, anyway) quite affected.
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
I don't know for a fact whether there is a standard English manner of pronouncing foreign words. For me, in any case, it's a strange concept, because I have always pronounced a word in the manner of its language of origin. In all naivete, until today I did not know that there was such a thing as a standard English pronunciation of foreign names. [/b]
Replicating a word as it's spoken in its language of origin is all but impossible for English-only speakers unless they've studied the language or the sounds of the word are phonetically identical to those of English. For the numerous articulations that don't exist in English, it just doesn't happen.

Since you're a linguist, you might be at ease even with clicks! For the typical American, a uvular fricative or an alveolar tap are often beyond reach even after years of studying French or Spanish, respectively. It's more a matter of education and motivation than capability, sure, but this unfortunate description is accurate nonetheless.

Finally, regarding "standard" pronunciation of foreign names, the majority of Wikipedia entries for people with unusual surnames offer the pronunciation in IPA. I can't say in every case whether it's prescriptive or descriptive, but it reflects consensus—and, generally, an assiduous resistance to U.S.-centric bias.

Steven

[edit: typo!]
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#498864 - 07/28/08 09:35 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11724
Loc: Canada
I have done nothing more than suggest that it might be a good idea to have a resource that will let us know how the names are pronounced in their original languages. I thought it might be of interest to this international community. Either it is of interest or it is not.

Again, this is an international community. The English language has become the standard language of communication of the Internet because we need some language - therefore on PW we communicate in English. Even the three translator sites have a rule that communication must be in English unless a language-specific forum is involved.

However, the actual spoken language of this vast community is not necessarily English, let alone American English. The community on this site might be interested in knowing how names are pronounced in the original language, and then make adaptations to those names according to what they are capable of pronouncing from their mother tongue abilities. I thought I might be addressing the interests of this international community. In their own settings they would not necessarily be speaking English or discussing composers in English.

I was not at all splitting hairs, but defining this community, therefore what linguistic realities their everyday lives may hold.

Wikkipedia is not an authoritative source, it is a compendium of hodgepodge information that tries to be accurate.

I think the real authority is to know how names are commonly pronounced in the various circles of each country: schools, studios, orchestras, perhaps radio and television.

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#498865 - 07/28/08 09:45 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
I have done nothing more than suggest that it might be a good idea to have a resource that will let us know how the names are pronounced in their original languages. I thought it might be of interest to this international community. Either it is of interest or it is not.

Again, this is an international community. The English language has become the standard language of communication of the Internet because we need some language - therefore on PW we communicate in English. Even the three translator sites have a rule that communication must be in English unless a language-specific forum is involved.

However, the actual spoken language of this vast community is not necessarily English, let alone American English. The community on this site might be interested in knowing how names are pronounced in the original language, and then make adaptations to those names according to what they are capable of pronouncing from their mother tongue abilities. I thought I might be addressing the interests of this international community. In their own settings they would not necessarily be speaking English or discussing composers in English.

I was not at all splitting hairs, but defining this community, therefore what linguistic realities their everyday lives may hold.

Wikkipedia is not an authoritative source, it is a compendium of hodgepodge information that tries to be accurate.

I think the real authority is to know how names are commonly pronounced in the various circles of each country: schools, studios, orchestras, perhaps radio and television. [/b]
Most of what you say is self-evident. And if you acknowledge that we're a community, and using English for the purpose of communicating, IMHO you are splitting hairs by saying we're not an English-speaking community. It is in fact what we're doing here regardless of our everyday lives—we're a community using English to communicate.

" ... let alone American English"? I don't know why you're so defensive, particularly in trying to frame this as a U.S. vs. The Rest of the World sort of situation. It is not.

And if you think Wikipedia lacks authority, you should familiarize yourself with it more. Start with the many detailed articles about linguistics, even. And if you happen to find inaccurate information, edit it—or share your questions on the discussion pages! You'll be in the company of scholars who share your concerns and your scrutiny.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#498866 - 07/28/08 10:25 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11724
Loc: Canada
Steven - I thought I had hit upon a welcome idea. The reason that we participate here in PW is because of what we do in our real lives, namely playing and being involved in music. The information that we gather is information that we put to use in our real worlds. So one of us living in Italy, America, Ghana, China, Australia, Poland etc. might feel the need to talk about a certain composer or composition, but be clueless as to how that name is pronounced. I thought I had a brilliant idea - If we're an international community, then we have the experts right at our doorstep. The Germans could create audiofiles of German names, the Frenchman could do the same for French names, the Russians for the Russian names etc. I was excited about the idea. I did not expect it to create controversy or hard feelings.

To bring this to a close - I was actually just wondering whether there would be interest in creating a pronunciation guide done by those who have the matching languages.

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#498867 - 07/28/08 10:49 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Dave123 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 203
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
Canada, for example, is officially bilingual with every school child being obligated to learn the French language. [/b]
They are?

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#498868 - 07/28/08 10:52 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5943
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
To bring this to a close - I was actually just wondering whether there would be interest in creating a pronunciation guide done by those who have the matching languages. [/b]
Personally, I would find it useful. I don't see any anti-US-English bias here, just a resource people could avail themselves of if they so desired. I have no problems with German and Italian, but even though I studied French for some years there are some names (Poulenc being a good example, actually) where I hear a number of people with firm and differing views. POO-lunk is probably the dominant pronunciation in the circles in which I move, but Plunk and Poo-LENK have their strong advocates!

I think the accented syllable question is very interesting actually. Take a name like Hiroshima. I have been told that in Japanese the syllables are accented equally. Here in Australia we just don't seem to be able to do that, and there are those that hear equal accentuation as HirOSHima, and those who hear the same pronunciation as HIRoSHEEma. And I suspect it's because in English (or perhaps our Aussie version of it \:\) ) there aren't any words where we have equal accentuation, so when we hear one, our ears provide what isn't in fact there.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#498869 - 07/28/08 10:57 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11724
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Dave123:
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
Canada, for example, is officially bilingual with every school child being obligated to learn the French language. [/b]
They are? [/b]
Aren't they? At least in the public school system afaik. Except for Quebec which is officially unilingually French which is another story.

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#498870 - 07/28/08 10:59 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
keystring, I didn't wish to quash your excitement about having audio for foreign names spoken in their source languages. It is an interesting idea, and I think it would be pretty cool, too—but I also have a background in linguistics and an atypical interest level in all related areas.

I only meant to question its ultimate usefulness to the majority of English speakers, or, for that matter, speakers of any language whose sounds are significantly different. FWIW, I also think it's pretty cool to be able to pronounce foreign words and names authentically—but also realize that, unless one is conversing in a rarefied stratum of academics amongst whom authentic pronunciations are de rigueur, it's likely to be regarded as precious and pretentious.

Maybe that's a sad commentary on American culture, but I've learned to rein in the pedantry ... to try, anyway ... a little bit ... in my speech, at least. ;\)

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#498871 - 07/28/08 11:11 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Dave123 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 203
Loc: Canada
Keystrings I have sent a quick PM to you, I don't wish to take the thread off topic.

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#498872 - 07/28/08 11:23 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11724
Loc: Canada
Dave - got it - thanks.
Steve - might this also be cultural, with an internal culture from place to place? Because I had that discussion with my son when I pronounced Vivaldi the Italian way, (but with less of an ... erm ... cadence? to it) and he said it was pretentious. But Viv-awl-di sounds awful to my ear. So I assume that at the arts high school they must have pronounced it with the "awl". It's an interesting question.

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#498873 - 07/29/08 03:15 AM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
JohnEB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/20/06
Posts: 754
Loc: Belgium
Most of the music I do is with french speakers, and when I listen to classical music radio it's always in french. It's always[/b] POO-lank, but the n is very nasal and you have to kind of swallow the 'k': it comes from right at the back of the throat.
_________________________
John

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#498874 - 07/29/08 10:13 AM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Regarding syllable stress in French, this should clarify why "Poulenc" (or any French word) would seem, in isolation, to be stressed on the final syllable but not necessarily otherwise:
 Quote:
French words are sometimes said to be stressed on the final syllable, but actually French has no word stress at all. Rather, it has a prosody whereby the final or next-to-final syllable of a string of words is stressed. This string may be equivalent to a clause or a phrase. However, when a word is said alone, it receives the full prosody and therefore the stress as well.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress_(linguistics)

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#498875 - 07/29/08 12:01 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
timbo77 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 268
Loc: Singapore
As if further confirmation of JohnEB's first-hand experience were required, Poulenc is pronounced "pou-langk", rather than "-longk" (which is an approximation you often hear in England) and certainly not "-lenk" (?). Even in the south of France the only difference would be a more audible "n" rather than a change in the vowel.

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#498876 - 07/29/08 12:19 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11724
Loc: Canada
Timbo77, I can't relate to "lang" and "long". Do you mean the "en" sound as in Jean, vente, temps, with a K at the end?

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#498877 - 07/29/08 04:06 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
The "a" in "pou-langk" is the short "o"
sound in English, as in the word "on"--
or the "a" sound in the word "fawn."
The "o" in "pou-longk" is the longer "o"
sound in English, as in the word "longer."

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#498878 - 07/29/08 06:04 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
hopinmad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
Concerning earlier replies again . . . sotto voce, that audio clip is exactly what I mean; the one I dislike!
_________________________
Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

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#498879 - 07/29/08 06:09 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Fleeting Visions Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 1501
Loc: Champaign, IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by BruceD:
Final consonants in French words (names) are usually[/b] silent, except for C, R, F, and L.
Some notable exceptions :

Herold
Berlioz
Saint-Saëns
Hahn

Regards, [/b]
You don't pronounce the s at the end of Saint-Saens, and Hahn is not a French name, but your other examples are right. You will also find that the French are less rigorous with the rule, and will say the s at the end of fils, among many others.
_________________________
Amateur Pianist, Scriabin Enthusiast, and Octave Demon

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#498880 - 07/29/08 06:11 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5943
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gyro:
The "a" in "pou-langk" is the short "o"
sound in English, as in the word "on"--
or the "a" sound in the word "fawn."
The "o" in "pou-longk" is the longer "o"
sound in English, as in the word "longer." [/b]
This makes no sense to a speaker of Australian Engish, where the vowel sounds in the words "on" and "fawn" are quite different, and where the "o" sound in "longer" is not longer than the "o" sound in "on". Just so you know \:\) .
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#498881 - 07/29/08 06:14 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by hopinmad:
Concerning earlier replies again . . . sotto voce, that audio clip is exactly what I mean; the one I dislike! [/b]
hopinmad, it's fair enough to dislike it. But you described the American pronunciation previously "a much stronger stress on the second syllable," and the audio clip doesn't represent that.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#498882 - 07/29/08 06:16 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
hopinmad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
It doesn't?!?!?!?!
_________________________
Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

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#498883 - 07/29/08 06:21 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by currawong:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gyro:
The "a" in "pou-langk" is the short "o"
sound in English, as in the word "on"--
or the "a" sound in the word "fawn."
The "o" in "pou-longk" is the longer "o"
sound in English, as in the word "longer." [/b]
This makes no sense to a speaker of Australian Engish, where the vowel sounds in the words "on" and "fawn" are quite different, and where the "o" sound in "longer" is not longer than the "o" sound in "on". Just so you know \:\) . [/b]
currawong, you are right, of course:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonological_history_of_English_low_back_vowels

I was going to post this earlier, but it's just not feasible to debunk all of Gyro's misinformation. You have to choose your battles, after all!

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

Top
#498884 - 07/29/08 06:30 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by hopinmad:
It doesn't?!?!?!?! [/b]
Not to my ears, anyway.

This is what I posted before, so I'll just say it again:
 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:
From Merriam-Webster (identical to the pronunciation I already provided from Wikipedia, but not written in IPA):

\ˈshō-ˌpan, -ˌpaⁿ\

This is Merriam-Webster's audio:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/audio.pl?bixcho05.wav=Chopin
 Quote:
Originally posted by hopinmad:
I give only a slight stress on the first, if any actually, and others I've heard in the area say it the same.[/b]
That sounds like a description of the Merriam-Webster audio clip, and it's the pronunciation I've heard all my life.[/b]
I hear primary stress on the first syllable and secondary stress on the second, just as shown in Merriam-Webster's transcription.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

Top
#498885 - 07/29/08 06:45 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
hopinmad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
Seeing as we're hearing different things there it may be that I think what I mean then is a prolonging of the second syllable, in that clip you can hear it, and I'm used too no prolonging at all, and I think that's what I mean by the stress.
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