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#498826 - 07/25/08 05:31 PM So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
CherryCoke Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/11/02
Posts: 531
People seem to fight about this as though it's life or death, and everyone on both sides is equally convinced of their own pronounciation.

Pou-LANK (rhymes with "rank" or "stank")

or

Poul-LONGC (rhymes with Long-k or honk)

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#498827 - 07/25/08 05:38 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
The second way.

I wasn't aware of any controversy (or any con TROV er sy, even :p ).

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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#498828 - 07/25/08 05:54 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5513
Loc: Orange County, CA
Ha!

In high school, my piano teacher pronounced it Pou-LONGC. Then when I got to college, my professor corrected me by saying POU-lank, which is the way to say a word like "Poulenc" in French.

Then, just last month, I ran into a person who actually knew Francis Poulenc, and he said it's Pou-LONGC.

Don't even get me started on Alberto Ginastera.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#498829 - 07/25/08 06:34 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
tomasino Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
jee-nah-STEH-ra.

Tomasino

toe-ma-SEE-no
_________________________
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10


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#498830 - 07/25/08 07:12 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
hopinmad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
When I was just beginning the piano I read "Chopin" as "cho-pin", that is, perfectly phonetically, starting with a "ch" for "ch"ess, so I read it as "choping" with more "in" at the end instead of the "inG".

Now, of course I pronounce it right . . . but when reading (not out loud obviously) I think I still read it as I did before, but am unsure because I can never quite remember once I've read it, and if I read it conciously then I'm too aware to misread it . . . but I think I read it as I did before.

Actually I must do, because I think I say it out loud like that when I'm nervous.


"Hopinmad" does not help!
_________________________
Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

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#498831 - 07/25/08 09:32 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
Poulen... drop the C? Thats how I would pronounce it.

Matt

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#498832 - 07/25/08 10:07 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18137
Loc: Victoria, BC
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,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#498833 - 07/25/08 10:17 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Arabesque Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 553
Loc: Japan
Poolonk! with the stress on the lonk.
_________________________
It don't mean a ting if it don't have dat swing

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#498834 - 07/25/08 10:25 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18137
Loc: Victoria, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by Arabesque:
Poolonk! with the stress on the lonk. [/b]
The French Larousse dictionary - a good authority - gives the correction pronunciation in the IPA as [pu lɛ~nk], and as closely as I can transliterate it, it is :

Poo lank, accent on the last syllable.

The Petit Robert, Dictionnaire universel des noms propres confirms this pronunciation.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#498835 - 07/25/08 10:48 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Schubertian Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 937
Loc: Dallas, TX, US
It is (IPA: [pulɛ̃k])
where the /ɛ̃/ is a nasalized short e, similar to the e in the english word 'bet' only nasalized

Poo - lenk
_________________________
'Always remember: the higher we fly the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.""
- Nietzsche

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#498836 - 07/26/08 12:44 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
Dang, I've been using the wrong vowel! I had assumed that it was the same as in sans or France, when in reality it's the one in cinq (or Chopin!).

I didn't consider that en sometimes goes both ways: vendredi, comprend ... vs. rien, bien, chien. But not usually, n'est-ce pas, Bruce? Isn't it typically represented by in or ain and not by en other than in the combination ien?

I will now Anglicize Poulenc to "poo LANK" rather than "poo LAHNK."

Thanks, you guys. I love both French and phonology!

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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#498837 - 07/26/08 05:47 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
In the US, people make a point of Americanizing
French words, indeed do it with a vengence.
Pronouncing French words with authentic
French pronunciation is considered improper
in the US. I've never heard it pronounced,
but by US standards, it would be pronounced
as though it were an English word, thus:
"poo-LENK," or "POO-lenk," with the "len"
pronounced like the "len" in "length."

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#498838 - 07/26/08 05:58 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
hopinmad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
I detest the way Chopin is pronounced in the US . . . that accent on the second syllable is horrible!
_________________________
Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

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#498839 - 07/26/08 06:15 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
wdot Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/07
Posts: 728
Loc: South Carolina, USA
I'd like to see someone try to type out how to pronounce the distinctive French "k" sound.

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#498840 - 07/26/08 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:
I detest the way Chopin is pronounced in the US . . . that accent on the second syllable is horrible! [/b]


That's not typical, though it could be regional. I don't think I've ever heard Chopin pronounced in English with the second syllable stressed.

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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#498841 - 07/26/08 07:22 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18137
Loc: Victoria, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by hopinmad:
I detest the way Chopin is pronounced in the US . . . that accent on the second syllable is horrible! [/b]
I hope you're not too stressed to learn that in French, names are invariably pronounced with the accent on the last syllable. One could say, then, that Americans pronouncing Chopin's name with the accent on the last syllable are just emulating correct pronunciation.

Cho.pin[/b].
Ra.cine[/b]
Bau.de.laire[/b]
Saint Saëns[/b]
Boil.dieu[/b]
Ra.meau[/b]
Char.pen.tier[/b]
etc.,
etc.,

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#498842 - 07/26/08 07:43 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
wdot Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/07
Posts: 728
Loc: South Carolina, USA
Add Bizet and Ravel to Bruce's list.

Honestly, when I hear a person say "SHOW-pan," I immediately think that he or she has no real musical knowledge.

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#498843 - 07/26/08 07:51 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 wdot:
Honestly, when I hear a person say "SHOW-pan," I immediately think that he or she has no real musical knowledge. [/b]
I resemble that remark! ;\) (I give both syllables almost equal weight, actually, with a slight emphasis on the first.)

Do folks in your neck of the woods really say "show-PAN"?

FWIW, it's always worth considering that variations reflect regional differences as easily as educational ones.

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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#498844 - 07/26/08 07:55 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13802
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Where Americanized French is concerned, my favorite is a small town in Missouri near where I grew up called "Bois d'arc."

Anybody want to guess how we said it in Missouri? \:D
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#498845 - 07/26/08 07:55 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
annifirst Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 54
Loc: Texas
The stress on most French words, including names, is more or less equal. If one simply must stress one syllable over another, the last one is the one which receives the stress.

SHOW-pan is not right. But certainly neither is show-PAN, with an obvious accent.
_________________________
annifirst

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#498846 - 07/26/08 08:08 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 annifirst:
SHOW-pan is not right. But certainly neither is show-PAN, with an obvious accent. [/b]
Not right? Neither one is "right" vis-à-vis the French pronunciation; Anglicizations are only approximations, and on that basis I wouldn't call either "not right."

FWIW, Wikipedia confirms that SHOW-pan is dominant in English:
 Quote:
surname pronunciation in English: IPA: /ˈʃoʊpæn/, in French: IPA: [ʃɔpɛ̃]
(The apostrophe denotes primary stress.)

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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#498847 - 07/26/08 08:56 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Bosendorfer88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 198
Loc: Montreal
i can't think of anything...how do you say it in missouri?

it's just the way french is structured, there are sounds that are unique to french, especially those nasal sounds like -in or -en
i can't really write how chopin or poulenc are pronounced, i guess bruce's phonetic form is the best (i didn't you spoke french btw)
personally i don't pronounce the c (or k) at the end of poulenc
_________________________
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and upon which it is impossible to remain silent"-Victor Hugo

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#498848 - 07/26/08 09:56 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Studio Joe Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kreisler:
Where Americanized French is concerned, my favorite is a small town in Missouri near where I grew up called "Bois d'arc."

Anybody want to guess how we said it in Missouri? \:D [/b]
I don't know about Missouri, but in Texas we pronounce it BOW-dark. It's the name of a tree also called "Horse Apple Tree".
_________________________
Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax

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#498849 - 07/26/08 10:07 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Studio Joe Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
Audio pronuncian of Poulenc from Merriam Webster

http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/audio.pl?bixpou01.wav=Poulenc

-----------------------------------------------
_________________________
Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax

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#498850 - 07/26/08 10:10 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
wdot Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/07
Posts: 728
Loc: South Carolina, USA
I don't think it's regional While I may be a southerner, I promise you that I don't say "Chopin" with a pronounced southern accent. It isn't "show-PAYAN."

Speaking of towns/cities, there are Beaufort, South Carolina, and Beaufort, North Carolina. The first is "Byoo-fort;" the second is "Bow-fort." Accent on the first syllable. Maybe it's another North/South thing. \:D

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#498851 - 07/26/08 10:27 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Auntie Lynn Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 1108
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Fran-swah

Awn-tee Lin

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#498852 - 07/27/08 01:08 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
Plonk!

\:D

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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#498853 - 07/27/08 05:44 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
tenders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 73
Loc: Westchester, NY
DuBois, Pennsylvania is pronounced "DOO boyz."

Yes, I'm sorry, but it is.

Fortunately it's right on Route 80 so you can keep driving past at 65+mph.

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#498854 - 07/28/08 02:29 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Copake Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 256
Loc: Columbia/Westchester Counties ...
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gyro:
In the US, people make a point of Americanizing
French words, indeed do it with a vengence.
Pronouncing French words with authentic
French pronunciation is considered improper
in the US. I've never heard it pronounced,
but by US standards, it would be pronounced
as though it were an English word, thus:
"poo-LENK," or "POO-lenk," with the "len"
pronounced like the "len" in "length." [/b]
Following that practice, and knowing that Chopin's father was French, how would you pronounce "Chopin" in the presence of your musical friends?

Would they double over with laughter?

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#498855 - 07/28/08 07:13 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
hopinmad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
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.

I give only a slight stress on the first, if any actually, and others I've heard in the area say it the same.

But then, I mean, French words in Welsh accent? Inconceivable!
_________________________
Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

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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: 11734
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: 11734
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

Top
#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: 11734
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
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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
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 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
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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
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 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
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 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.
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#498869 - 07/28/08 10:57 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
keystring Online   content
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 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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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#498874 - 07/29/08 10:13 AM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
sotto voce Offline
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Concerning earlier replies again . . . sotto voce, that audio clip is exactly what I mean; the one I dislike!
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#498879 - 07/29/08 06:09 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Fleeting Visions Offline
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 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.
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#498880 - 07/29/08 06:11 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
currawong Offline
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 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 \:\) .
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#498881 - 07/29/08 06:14 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
sotto voce Offline
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 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
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It doesn't?!?!?!?!
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#498883 - 07/29/08 06:21 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
sotto voce Offline
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 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

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

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#498885 - 07/29/08 06:45 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
hopinmad Offline
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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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#498886 - 07/29/08 06:54 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
sotto voce Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:
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. [/b]
According to the sources I've checked, Saint-Saëns is one of those many other French words in which the final s is pronounced. Check out what a native speaker of French says here .

A salient excerpt:
 Quote:
READ MY LIPS -- once and for all, it is pronounced Camille Saint-Sahnsss. Get it? And, since there are always some know-it-all Americans (whose ignorance matches their conceit) who have the pretension to teach me my own native tongue, to those I say, if you don't believe me, look it in up in the "Petit Larousse" or "Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary," both of which agree the correct promunciation is "Saint-Sahnsss."
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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#498887 - 07/29/08 06:58 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
currawong Offline
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I'm suspecting more and more as this thread goes on that we hear through the filter of how we ourselves (and those around us) speak. So two people (from different parts of the English-speaking world) will hear something and interpret it according to their own pronunciation habit. We all think we speak normally and it's all the other people who have accents, don't we \:\) .

I find it all very interesting.
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#498888 - 07/29/08 07:00 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Fleeting Visions Offline
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Thanks for the heads-up, although I'll make a quick comment on dictionaries: They descriptive, not definitive. They say how things are said, not what is correct. The French people I know aren't musicians, and so I've never had a chance to hear them say it.
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#498889 - 07/29/08 07:17 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
sotto voce Offline
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That's interesting, as the complaint about language reference books (including dictionaries) is typically the opposite one: that they are prescriptive as to what is "correct," rather than necessarily descriptive of what people really say and do.

If dictionaries aren't definitive sources for what is "correct," then what would be?

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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#498890 - 07/29/08 07:22 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
keystring Online   content
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 Quote:
I'm suspecting more and more as this thread goes on that we hear through the filter of how we ourselves (and those around us) speak.
Currawong, that's it exactly. Our linguistics prof. called that "le filtre phonologique". We translate what we hear into sounds we already know. Learning from written language, or knowing how something is spelled is the worst thing, because we will translate into the sounds those letters represent in the known language. That's why Germans say "Ven ve valk to Vashington." when they are perfectly capable of pronouncing "w".

I've used some of my theories in learning my sixth language (w.i.p.), becoming neutral as a child, and listening to rhythms first. I was teaching one-on-one with an aim to fluency and fluid native quality pronunciation - my two students already have several languages. Some of our exercises were closer to being music lessons as we worked on hearing the flow of two or three sounds together and truly hearing it. Mostly the mispronunciations stem from the ear and not the vocal aparatus. We also worked with the cadences of a language - the rhythms and rise and fall of a voice, sometimes humming the "melody" of a phrase and then inserting the words into it. I got this idea by observing how babies babble. A French baby says Mamamamama differently than an English or German or Russian baby.

I risk going off on a major treatise on the similarities between language and music so I'll stop here.

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#498891 - 07/29/08 07:25 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
keystring Online   content
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 Quote:
If dictionaries aren't definitive sources for what is "correct," then what would be?
Real speaking persons, preferably a native speaker, preferably a linguist or actor trained in clean enunciation.

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#498892 - 07/29/08 07:36 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
currawong Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:
That's interesting, as the complaint about language reference books (including dictionaries) is typically the opposite one: that they are prescriptive as to what is "correct," rather than necessarily descriptive of what people really say and do. [/b]
(Did I mention I'm finding this discussion interesting? \:\) )

Yet many people I come across fume about how dictionaries are increasingly including words and usages which they (the people) always considered "wrong" - and they are being included because usage changes, dictionaries just record what is now common usage (you know, the "impact" as a verb thing, which I still don't use \:\) ).

Maybe half the people are complaining for one reason, and the other half for the opposite reason. That'd be right \:\) .
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#498893 - 07/29/08 10:46 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
BruceD Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:
 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. [/b]
Yes, one does pronounce the final "s" of Saint-Saëns. Check any reliable French biographical dictionary that gives pronunciation and you'll find this to be the case.

IPA transcription : [sɛ̃ sãs] Petit Robert Dictionnaire universel des noms propres (the first tilde should be over[/b] the first e, indicating nasalization, but it didn't copy correctly from my word document)

Regards,
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#498894 - 07/30/08 12:45 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
timbo77 Offline
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Loc: Singapore
Keystring, by using "lang" and "long" I was referring back to the difference suggested in the original poster's question but also attempting to convey what I as a British English speaker heard from a native Parisian (who had the polite patience to say Poulenc a number of times for me -- she also admitted it was not the first time as a French-speaking musician she had been asked to undertake the exercise).

I'm not sure of the wisdom of trying to copy exactly the French pronunciation, but the following is my best effort. Apologies to all French speakers. My understanding is that a native French speaker would not rhyme the second syllable of Poulenc with "temps" or "Jean". Nor would it be pronounced with the short 'o' in British English "on" (though that is how many English people pronounce it); nor is it pronounced with the long 'a' adopted in American English for the first syllable of "pasta".

A close equivalent to my vulgar English ears was to rhyme the second syllable with the French word "cinq". I have no idea whether these are actually phonetically similar, but it works for me.

And on that note, I'm inspired to put Poulenc's concerto for two pianos on the stereo!

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#498895 - 07/30/08 01:10 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
BruceD Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by timbo77:
A close equivalent to my vulgar English ears was to rhyme the second syllable with the French word "cinq". I have no idea whether these are actually phonetically similar, but it works for me.

[/b]
Yes, the last syllable of Poulenc and the French number cinq have exactly the same nasal vowel sound, and both end with the same velar consonant sound.

[pu lɛ̃k]

[sɛ̃k]

Regards,
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#498896 - 07/30/08 01:20 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
sotto voce Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by BruceD:
 Quote:
Originally posted by timbo77:
A close equivalent to my vulgar English ears was to rhyme the second syllable with the French word "cinq". I have no idea whether these are actually phonetically similar, but it works for me.

[/b]
Yes, the last syllable of Poulenc and the French number cinq have exactly the same nasal vowel sound, and both end with the same velar consonant sound.

[pu lɛ̃k]

[sɛ̃k]

Regards, [/b]
I said that four days (and two pages) ago. Sometimes one has the feeling of shouting into a vacuum here.
 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:
Dang, I've been using the wrong vowel! I had assumed that it was the same as in sans or France, when in reality it's the one in cinq (or Chopin!).

I didn't consider that en sometimes goes both ways: vendredi, comprend ... vs. rien, bien, chien. But not usually, n'est-ce pas, Bruce? Isn't it typically represented by in or ain and not by en other than in the combination ien?

I will now Anglicize Poulenc to "poo LANK" rather than "poo LAHNK."

Thanks, you guys. I love both French and phonology!

Steven [/b]
_________________________

"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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#498897 - 07/30/08 01:21 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11734
Loc: Canada
nm

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#498898 - 07/30/08 01:44 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
When I say "longer," I mean longer in
duration. In a desk dictionary the "o"
in "on" and the "o" in "long" are marked with
the same sound, but in pronouncing them
the time duration of the vowel sound is
typically different. In "on" the "o" can be
pronounced in the back of the mouth with
little lip movement, but in "long" the
initial consonant forces a longer duration
of the vowel sound and you have to use
more lip action to say the vowel.

For example, the "a" in "father" and the
"a" in "about" have approximately the
same base sound, but in saying them the
"a" in "father" typically has a longer
time duration due to the initial consonant,
and you need to use more lip movement too.

In French I think an example would be the
"e" in "en" and the "a" in "voyance."
Both vowels have nominally the same sound,
but the time duration is longer in "voyance"
due to the consonant before the vowel.

So "pou-langk" would have the short
(in duration) English "o" sound--this
would be similar to the French pronunciation.
"Pou-longk" would have the longer
(in duration) English "o" sound--
this is how an English speaker might
try to reproduce the French pronunciation;
the difference is slight to an English-speaker's
ears, but a native French speaker would pick
this up.

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#498899 - 07/30/08 01:48 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11734
Loc: Canada
It would make much more sense to find or create an audible type dictionary, and to denote region. Otherwise none of this makes sense. British pronunciation of English is not the same as that in Canada, the United States, Australia etc., and even these countries have regions. There is a difference between the French spoken in France, parts of Africa (my favourite), Quebec, and the Creole of the U.S. - etc.

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#498900 - 07/30/08 01:55 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
But [pu lɛ̃ k] is pronounced [pu lɛ̃ k] everywhere.

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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#498901 - 07/30/08 03:05 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11734
Loc: Canada
The trouble is that I'm flying blind here, Steven. You are involved in languages and linguistics, I know that much. But are you in the field hearing different dialects, required to speak and hear French in a variety of settings? This is where my impression comes that vowels in particular are pronounced differently in different regions, and are subject to shifts even in our lifetimes.

I have interpreted in person and done telephone interpretation, hearing a wide variety of dialects with a few seconds to adjust unless I want to appear to be an unprofessional dolt. There is a huge variety of ways that [pu lɛ̃ k] will be pronounced - in some areas of Quebec the nasal sound will be a wide dipthong. Lundi becomes Lund-zi, "Je ne suis pas" becomes "chupo" etc. Vowels are more subject to shifts than consonants. Currently a vowel shift is happening in English - as I found out when telephone interpreting in the campaign for "shacks and struts". The shacks were not wooden huts, but the pronunciation in a particular area of the U.S. of the word "shock", as in "shack absorber". The vowel shift from "o" to "a" is creeping into the Niagara region of Ontario, I'm told. Anyhow - since this is a piano site, I shouldn't write more.

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#498902 - 07/30/08 03:25 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
When I said [pu lɛ̃ k] is [pu lɛ̃ k] everywhere, I didn't mean /pu lɛ̃ k/ (i.e., phonemic) is [pu lɛ̃ k] everywhere!

To the extent pronunciation varies according to regional dialect, a narrower phonetic transcription can show allophonic differences or subtle variations. I still don't think there's much potential for [pu lɛ̃ k], as a broad transcription, to be misunderstood.

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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#498903 - 07/30/08 03:32 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11734
Loc: Canada
There is no such thing as one standard pronunciation in real life. We must be talking about International Parisian French. That's good enough for me.

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#498904 - 07/30/08 03:48 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
Indeed, there are as many idiolects as there are people.

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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#498905 - 07/30/08 04:04 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
The pronunciation of the word "shack" (wood
hut) is pretty much standard across the US.
This is because this particular word has
definite connotations in English, generally
all negative, and thus with such a hard-htting
word you need to be careful with it's use; so
there is a definite and universal pronunciation
so that there is never any confusion about
its use. Thus, no other word would be
pronounced the same as it, and certainly
not the word "shock." There is no "vowel
shift" currently going on that makes
"shock" sound the same as "shack."

There might be certain regional differences
in the pronunciation of "shock," such
that it might come out something like
"she-YAK," but this is nothing new and
should be par for the course for an
interpreter. The word "shack" (SHAK) is unique
in English and no other word is pronounced
like it.

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#498906 - 07/30/08 04:47 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 Gyro:
The pronunciation of the word "shack" (wood
hut) is pretty much standard across the US.
This is because this particular word has
definite connotations in English, generally
all negative, and thus with such a hard-htting
word you need to be careful with it's use; so
there is a definite and universal pronunciation
so that there is never any confusion about
its use. Thus, no other word would be
pronounced the same as it, and certainly
not the word "shock." There is no "vowel
shift" currently going on that makes
"shock" sound the same as "shack."

There might be certain regional differences
in the pronunciation of "shock," such
that it might come out something like
"she-YAK," but this is nothing new and
should be par for the course for an
interpreter. The word "shack" (SHAK) is unique
in English and no other word is pronounced
like it. [/b]


Gyro, you've outdone yourself here.

I don't believe that a word's meaning or connotation is necessarily predictive of linguistic change—but if you don't like shock/shack, then stock/stack illustrates the same process KS describes. (And if it's spreading into the Niagara region of Ontario, that's because of where it's coming from.)

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Cities_Vowel_Shift
 Quote:
/ɑ/ is pulled forward toward [a], occupying a position very close to the position of former /æ/, and in some very advanced speakers an identical position.
From http://www.ic.arizona.edu/~lsp/Northeast/ncshift/ncshift2.html
 Quote:
For example, the vowel of the shifted (advanced) pronunciation of stock is quite similar to the vowel of pre-shift stack.
For more general information, see http://www.ic.arizona.edu/~lsp/Northeast/ncshift/ncshift.html

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
#498907 - 07/30/08 05:12 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11734
Loc: Canada
Gyro, I spent four months fielding calls that went between a region of the U.S. and Quebec, where I was the telephone interpreter. It is not my imagination that the American party would refer to shock absorbers, but pronounce it as "shack" absorber. This is not a theoretical idea - this is in the field experience. The pronunciation veered so much to the short a that I misunderstood the first time (the word "absorber" generally wasn't used) and I thought they were indeed talking about the building. I also researched with my peers about the phenomenon. It's like with music - we can read lots of things about things, but those who are in the field will know things that are not reflected in the books (music, in this case), and their experiences tend to be the real McCoy.

Thanks, Steven, for pulling out the links. Fascinating.

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#498908 - 07/30/08 05:25 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
Googling "northern cities vowel shift" returned over 3,000 hits, including this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UoJ1-ZGb1w

Bill Labov on YouTube! Who knew?

A very interesting aspect of the shift is that (as Labor mentions early in this clip) the English of the American Midwest has long been the standard for "newscaster" English (i.e., our version of "Received Pronunciation" and a neutral common denominator)—and now it's changing on us!

I almost forgot to mention that not all connotations of shack are negative. What about love shack? :2hearts:



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
#498909 - 07/30/08 06:37 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5946
Loc: Down Under
Just a totally irrelevant anecdote here (well it is about vowels, I suppose):

NZ vowels are ubiquitous here in Australia. We make fun of them in a friendly cross-Tasman sort of way all the time. Some years ago we were living near a naval air base and there were quite a few New Zealanders working there, one of whom told us his area of work was "spears". Well, everyone said the armed forces were underfunded, but we had an instant vision of this guy leaning out the window of the fighter plane chucking spears.

Of course he was saying "spares", as in "spare parts" ...
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#498910 - 07/31/08 03:15 AM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
nigelkeay Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 7
Loc: Paris
Ten years of living in France has gone a long way in helping me lose much/some? of the NZ accent I had. Shortly after arriving here I remember causing confusion talking about the shear market.
_________________________
composer & violist

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#498911 - 07/31/08 11:32 AM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
Keystring, the word "shack" in English is
unique in pronunciation, because of the
generally negative connotations associated with
it. No one in the US would pronounce
another word exactly like it. In some
regions of the US, maybe the NY city area,
some people might pronounce "shock" so that
it roughly resembles "shack," maybe something
like "she-yak," but there's a big difference
to American ears, and no one would confuse
it with "shack." Your French-tuned ears
don't pick up the difference, but it's there.
The difference is in the time duration
and/or intonation of the vowel. A New Yorker
will pronounce the word "shack" in a certain way
that is unique, and will pronounce no other
word exactly like it.

This might be similar to "pou-langk" and
"pou-longk." An English-speaker's
ears don't pick up the difference between
the vowel sounds in these pronunciations,
but a native French speaker would pick it
up right away.

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#498912 - 07/31/08 12:13 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11734
Loc: Canada
Gyro, I don't have "French-tuned ears". My native language is Canadian English. French is my third language. Secondly, this is absurd. You have devised a theory with no experience behind it. I spent four months hearing people from call centers with varying regional dialects, hearing their overall pronunciation of words: all of them said "shock" in whatever way they said it, but they pronounced other words similarly. If you wish to duplicate my experience I suggest that you phone people at random across America and ask them to read a sample sentence to you, so that you can hear the speech patterns and come to your own conclusions.

You are inventing linguistic theory as you go, and you are presenting them to an experienced linguist who works in particular, when teaching, in native-language pronunciation and fluidity. Nor am I an academician: I am experienced in the field and have applied my knowledge in practical venues. This is silly.

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#498913 - 07/31/08 12:34 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 Gyro:
[...]
[/b]
"Disinformation, wrapped in assertions, inside dogma." (Thanks, Piano*Dad.)

"The problem isn't what we don't know; it's what we're sure of that just ain't so." (Thanks to whomever had this in a sig line somewhere.)

Gyro's problem, demonstrated time and time again, isn't just ignorance—it's his infallible certitude that what's wrong is actually correct.

He's so out of his league here that the palaver is even more tiresome, absurd and embarrassing than usual.

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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#498914 - 07/31/08 01:14 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11734
Loc: Canada
Steven, if I haven't said so, the clip you put up yesterday was fascinating. Did you see the actress in one of the accompanying side clips (do these have a name?) who introduces herself in various English accents around the world?

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#498915 - 07/31/08 01:25 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
KS, I did see that! It's great how YouTube can compile a list of "related videos" that might be of interest based on what one is looking at.

BTW, thanks to the folks "down under" for those tidbits about local pronunciation. I knew nothing about that, or even that Wikipedia would have detailed articles on Australian English and New Zealand English (which, of course, it does!).

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
#498916 - 07/31/08 07:30 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5946
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gyro:
"shack" in English is unique in pronunciation, because of the
generally negative connotations associated with it. [/b]
"Shack" has negative connotations? Not here it doesn't, at least not to the extent you seem to be suggesting. In my part of the world you can pay a million$+ for a beach shack and be pretty proud of it! If you want to be negative about someone's dwelling you call it a hovel, a dump, a hole or a dive. And that's when you're being polite \:\) .
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#498917 - 07/31/08 08:28 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
It's not even accurate to say shack is unique in pronunciation, never mind its supposed 100% pejorative meaning.

"Radio Shack" is a long-established retail store chain selling electronics that is ubiquitous nationwide in the U.S.

The phrase "music shack" returned over 47,000 hits on Google.

And don't forget love shack, the grooviest kind of all! :2hearts:

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
#498918 - 08/01/08 02:58 AM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Ferdinand Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 943
Loc: California
I don't have first hand experience with the vowel shift phenomenon. I imagine if I heard a speaker from the region in question pronounce "shock" it would sound close to the way I say "shack" and I might misinterpret it. However that speaker might pronounce "shack" in a way subtly different from his pronunciation of "shock," so that other people in that region would not get confused. Gyro, is this consistent with what you are asserting?

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#498919 - 08/01/08 09:50 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
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ferdinand:
I don't have first hand experience with the vowel shift phenomenon. I imagine if I heard a speaker from the region in question pronounce "shock" it would sound close to the way I say "shack" and I might misinterpret it. However that speaker might pronounce "shack" in a way subtly different from his pronunciation of "shock," so that other people in that region would not get confused. Gyro, is this consistent with what you are asserting? [/b]
If you read about vowel shift in one of the links already provided (or any of the thousands returned by Google for "northern cities vowel shift"), you will learn how the vowel of shack is evolving, too, as part of a pattern involving a larger set of vowels.

Linguistic phenomena are the subject of rigorous and well-documented research and can be described with precision. Unfortunately, speculation by those without academic background or first-hand experience just serves to confuse and implicitly suggests that it's all a matter of opinion.

But it's not all a matter of opinion; even though everyone may have one, it won't necessarily be any more valuable than if you asked a layperson questions about any other field of physical or social sciences. And soliciting the opinion of the least informed yet most intransigent contrarian amounts to nothing more than feeding a troll.

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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#498920 - 08/01/08 09:09 PM Re: So, how do YOU pronounce Poulenc?
Schubertian Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 937
Loc: Dallas, TX, US
Currawong - I liked your story about the spears.

While we are on the topic of vowel shifts - there is a region of Massachusetts southwest of Worcester which has a unique dialect and particularly obscure usages with 'r' sounds. A good friend of mine - who was away from home for the first time at college- and sitting around the dinner table with some new friends - noticed a woman at the table who had lost some silverware. He asked her "Oh, would you like a fork?" in such a unique manner that everybody's eyes lit up. He had no idea what was going on.
_________________________
'Always remember: the higher we fly the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.""
- Nietzsche

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