Author Topic: IPA transcription of Wiktionary  (Read 7032 times)

Offline ibarrere

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IPA transcription of Wiktionary
« on: January 26, 2014, 06:13:08 AM »
I use Wiktionary all the time for a variety of things, it's a really great website. The one thing that bothers me though is the logo in the upper left:



The transcription is ['wɪkʃənrɪ]. Not only am I peeved because the transcription follows another dialect than mine, but I was also under the impression that lax vowels (such as ɪ) can't occur in open syllables (like the word-final one) in any English dialects. Saying that word with a lax vowel word-finally sounds weird and non native. What gives?
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 06:15:24 AM by ibarrere »
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Offline freknu

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Re: IPA transcription of Wiktionary
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2014, 06:35:19 AM »
I'm not a native English speaker, but for some reason I always think of it as /ˈβiktʃineɹi/ — the more prominant differences being a vowel between /n/ and /ɹ/, and the affricative cluster /ktʃ/ rather than /kʃ/.

It probably has a lot of variation even among native speakers.

Offline ibarrere

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Re: IPA transcription of Wiktionary
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2014, 07:22:53 AM »
Yeah, it certainly has a lot of variation. My particular pronunciation (from Seattle) is something like [wɪkʃɨneɪɹi]. I'm not sure I've heard it with a bilabial fricative as the first phone (or that I've heard anybody actually say the word out loud at all...), but that could be a regional thing as well.

Considering the legitimate variation, my main gripe is with the word-final lax vowel.
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Offline freknu

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Re: IPA transcription of Wiktionary
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2014, 07:25:02 AM »
Even "dictionary" on wiktionary is given without the final lax vowel: /ˈdɪkʃən(ə)ɹi/.

(EDIT)

Oh, and I meant a bilabial approximant: [ˈβ˕iktʃinɛɹi]. I don't think I use a labio-velar/palatal [w] very often, it tends to become a simple labial.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 07:30:01 AM by freknu »

Offline Corybobory

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Re: IPA transcription of Wiktionary
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2014, 07:52:47 AM »
I'm fine with it following a British pronunciation, but the final lax vowel is curious - does any dialect say it this way? Hmm... perhaps it's RP?  If I tryto mimic talking 'with a plum in my mouth' it does come across rather lax...
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Offline ibarrere

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Re: IPA transcription of Wiktionary
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2014, 09:18:55 AM »
Even "dictionary" on wiktionary is given without the final lax vowel: /ˈdɪkʃən(ə)ɹi/.

Good thinking on looking up that word. I suppose the freely-editable nature of the site ensures that over time things like that get corrected though, the official image isn't subject to that process though I suppose.

Quote from: freknu
Oh, and I meant a bilabial approximant: [ˈβ˕iktʃinɛɹi]. I don't think I use a labio-velar/palatal [w] very often, it tends to become a simple labial.

Bilabial approximant is ʋ, the symbol you've got is for the fricative. But yeah, Finns generally conflate /v/ and /w/ into [ʋ].

Quote from: Corybobory
I'm fine with it following a British pronunciation, but the final lax vowel is curious - does any dialect say it this way? Hmm... perhaps it's RP?  If I tryto mimic talking 'with a plum in my mouth' it does come across rather lax...

The stress patterning is definitely RP-esque, but I can't imagine any well-attested dialect of English allowing lax vowels in open syllables, that seems to be a pretty pervasive constraint. When I say it to myself it just sounds weird and non native.

EDIT:

Even the entry for Wiktionary (yes, there is one) reflects the "proper" pronunciations. All three (UK, US, and Canada) have a final tense vowel. I think it's about time they correct their image. :)
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 09:37:46 AM by ibarrere »
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Offline freknu

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Re: IPA transcription of Wiktionary
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2014, 09:23:48 AM »
Bilabial approximant is ʋ, the symbol you've got is for the fricative.

Eh? [β] = bilabial spirant~approximant, [ʋ] = labiodental approximant.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPA

But yeah, Finns generally conflate /v/ and /w/ into [ʋ].

I'm Norse ;) Unless you meant "Finn" as in citizen of Finland, lol.

Offline ibarrere

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Re: IPA transcription of Wiktionary
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2014, 09:34:12 AM »

Eh? [β] = bilabial spirant~approximant, [ʋ] = labiodental approximant.

Oh right, ʋ is labiodental. I always think of β as solely a fricative, but I suppose it could be classified as an approximant as well since there isn't a symbol for that. My bad, causing confusion.

Quote from: freknu
I'm Norse ;) Unless you meant "Finn" as in citizen of Finland, lol.

Wasn't sure about your native language, I just saw the Finnish flag. Either way, I guess it's the same case for anybody whose native language doesn't contrast /v/ and /w/.

For what it's worth, I added an entry to the discussion page for the wiktionary entry regarding the logo. We'll see what that accomplishes. :)
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Offline freknu

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Re: IPA transcription of Wiktionary
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2014, 09:36:30 AM »
Hopefully something will happen.

Offline ibarrere

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Re: IPA transcription of Wiktionary
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2014, 11:14:06 AM »
Today I learned that this transcription is, in fact, RP. The process is called "happy laxing", and is described in brief here:

http://englishspeechservices.com/blog/the-demise-of-happy-laxing/
http://americanwerewolfinbelgrade.com/

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