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Nov 18th, 2018, 3:49am 
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deejey
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Pronunciation - English  
« on: Feb 15th, 2018, 5:45pm »
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Can anyone help me out with the VS singing pronunciation of :-
'sky' and 'thousand' ? I've spent a relatively inordinate amount of time experimenting with syllabic substitutes and Sempa enclosed in [] but without success so far ? Please save me some time if you already cracked it.
 
Thanks
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Re: Pronunciation - English  
« Reply #1 on: Feb 16th, 2018, 8:24am »
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I don't see a problem with the VS pronounciaition of these two words, but since you are English, you might be able to explain what you have against it.  
 
Looking at the sampa translation, there seems to be for "thousand" a difference between the US ans UK interpretations, the latter considering the word as a single syllable, the former as two.  
 
But when singing, this will depend on the number of notes above the words.
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Re: Pronunciation - English  
« Reply #2 on: Feb 16th, 2018, 1:09pm »
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Sky seems to phonetize correctly.
 
Thousand is certainly weird, and it depends whether you divide it thou-sand or thous-and. You'll need to put it in as thou[#TaU]-sand[#z@nd].
 
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Re: Pronunciation - English  
« Reply #3 on: Feb 17th, 2018, 10:24am »
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Thanks all.
I've substituted [#skal] for sky (which was sssssssk !) and [#TaU] + [z@nd] for thou-sand (was thous-and = thighssssnd !) which work well even when in proximity to a bar division. The context of the words/syllables has strange effect on pronunciation at times. All is well now though.
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Re: Pronunciation - English  
« Reply #4 on: Feb 17th, 2018, 6:36pm »
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on Feb 16th, 2018, 1:09pm, SDoerr wrote:
. . . Thousand is certainly weird, and it depends whether you divide it thou-sand or thous-and. You'll need to put it in as thou[#TaU]-sand[#z@nd].

I came up with "thou[#TaU]-sand[#z&nd]," which I prefer slightly.
 
The "sssk" type of problem sound usually indicates something wrong with the lyrics, and the problem is not always obvious.  But [#skaI] should certainly work for "sky" under any circumstances.
« Last Edit: Feb 17th, 2018, 6:38pm by PaulL » offline

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Re: Pronunciation - English  
« Reply #5 on: Feb 18th, 2018, 6:26pm »
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I was already wondering why IPA (and Sampa) had three different characters for almost the same sound, here I see a fourth one, and after some research I found out there are six in total.
 
I understand there are differences of length, openness and intonation, but apart from that the basic sound is - to my ears - the same:
 
    Sampa 6  - IPA "turned a", example: 2d e in German) "besser" - but my dictionnary has "@"
    Sampa @ - IPA "turned e", examples: (English) "banana", (French) "e muet" in many words
    Sampa 3  - IPA "reversed epsilon", examples: u in "nurse"
    Sampa 9  - IPA "oe ligature", example: (French) neuf
    Sampa & - IPA "small capital OE ligature"  - example apparently "a" in thousand...  
    Sampa V - IPA "turned v", example (Eng) "but"      
 
Why all these, when there is still a single "ã" for both (French) "an" and "en" ?
 
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Re: Pronunciation - English  
« Reply #6 on: Feb 21st, 2018, 3:33am »
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For me, the vowel in "but" is quite different from the 'a' in "thousand," which I pronounce more or less as "thouz'nd" (viz., with an extremely short, indistinct vowel sound).
 
But I'm with you in not being able to hear a difference between the vowels in "nurse" and "neuf," though obviously someone can, because the IPA distinguishes them!
 
Since I've only ever used the English SAMPA codes, it comes as a complete surprise that the SAMPA for "an" and "en" is the same--I was taught to hear and say them as different vowels.
 
What do our Francophones have to say about this, hein?
« Last Edit: Feb 21st, 2018, 3:33am by PaulL » offline

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Re: Pronunciation - English  
« Reply #7 on: Feb 21st, 2018, 11:08am »
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As an Englishman with a degree in French, I'm a bit surprised that you were taught that <an> and <en> were different sounds, unless you're thinking of the relatively few words in which <en> represents the sound E~ (e.g. rien 'nothing').
 
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Re: Pronunciation - English  
« Reply #8 on: Feb 21st, 2018, 12:02pm »
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Well, as a Frenchman, I'd say that "most of the time "an" and "en" will sound the same. Yet, the presence of the "i" vowel may alter the sound toward the <in> whether it placed before (like in "bien") or after (like in "hein"). And if all that is not enough, we have a lot of words with the "en" sounding differently. There is a famous sentence :  
"les poules du couvent couvent" (the hens of the convent are brooding)
The first "couvent" is a noun, a convent in English, sounding <kuva~> in SAMPA, the second "couvent" is a verb, which I believe means brood in English, sounding <kuv> (or <kuv@> if you really want to stress the last syllable, which is not common in French)
Now, on top of that, there are regional oddities... In my area (St Etienne/loire) the <a~> is a bit special as it tends to sound a bit like a diphtong with a sort of <e> or <e~> added in front of the <an>. The coach of the French soccer team (who incidentally won the 1998 world cup) was from this area and I can tell you that imitators exploited this trait. Now, down in the South of France, people add a little bit of singing to the "an/en/in" as the sound is not so much nasalized and the "n" is pronouced as well. Some will even add a sort of <g>.
Anyway, as everybody knows, French is a very easy language.
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Re: Pronunciation - toutes langues  
« Reply #9 on: Feb 21st, 2018, 12:07pm »
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on Feb 21st, 2018, 12:02pm, bubu42 wrote:
Anyway, as everybody knows, French is a very easy language.

If you do not stop here, this thread will go on forever!  
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Re: Pronunciation - English  
« Reply #10 on: Feb 21st, 2018, 1:15pm »
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Well! This has been very interesting  
The issue I posted has been resolved with help from these posts.
I was notating an SATB arrangement of SkyFall (Adele) for choral home rehearsal purposes, which not unnaturally exhibits the word several times. I found that the context of the 'sky' lyric has some influence over the (English UK) pronunciation. ie preceding lyrical word/syllable or position with the bar. As has been suggested earlier, overriding the default with Sampa substitutes generally fixes the issue. (if you can work them out !). Another learning experience.
 
Thanks all
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Re: Pronunciation - English  
« Reply #11 on: Feb 21st, 2018, 2:00pm »
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In this song you have both 'sky fall' as two words ('Let the sky fall') and the compound noun 'sky-fall' or 'skyfall' ('all together, at sky-fall'). I think it's the latter that causes the problem, as it's not a recognized word - you're unlikely to find it in any dictionary - and VS has to make a guess. Its job is made more difficult by the fact that <y> can be a vowel or a consonant, and what it seems to do is ignore it altogether, resulting in a vowel-less syllable /sk/. One obvious workaround without resorting to SAMPA is to write it as two words even where it is hyphenated in the printed text.
 
If you particularly want to preserve the hyphen, I've found that sky^-fall seems to work (i.e. inserting a caret symbol before the hyphen).
 
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deejey
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Re: Pronunciation - English  
« Reply #12 on: Feb 21st, 2018, 2:11pm »
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That makes sense Steve.
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Re: Pronunciation - English  
« Reply #13 on: Feb 22nd, 2018, 10:42am »
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on Feb 21st, 2018, 12:02pm, bubu42 wrote:
Well, as a Frenchman, I'd say that "most of the time "an" and "en" will sound the same....

 
Bubu has given a fair overview of the pronunciation differences between the "en" and "an" writings.  
 
 
But my point went further. Their basic pronunciation in "Northern French", as in the two syllables of "enfant" or "pendant" are both represented as [#a~], and indeed look similar. When, sometimes unconsciously, they are different.
 
To avoid this thread  to go on forever - it is about English anyway - I'll explain this separately in "Other subjets"; perhaps in French, by the way.
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