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#40379 - 08/31/01 10:04 PM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409

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#40380 - 09/01/01 05:34 AM Re: Languages without Diphthongs?
NicholasW Offline
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Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 393
Loc: London
Japanese is another. Any vowel combination can occur and each takes two morae (beats): kao, ue, nai, ie, au, etc.; and each takes as long as a long vowel, so Oosaka and Tookyoo and Yokohama and Aomori are all four beats.

In Japanese you have to be careful not to make a semi-consonant glide between vowels: pairs like ia and iya can both occur and are quite distinct.

Swahili is like Japanese and the Polynesian languages in that groups like ai, au are disyllables, like any other vowel combination. Presumably then this is widespread in the Bantu family.

Some other languages don't have vowel combinations because they do always use glides. Philippine languages typically only have groups such as uwa, iya, a'a (with glottal stop).

Australian languages are (typically) similar but tend not to have glottal stops: so the two-vowel combination aa is a long vowel but otherwise they have glide-separated groups like awu, uwu, iyi, ayi.


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#40381 - 09/01/01 06:14 AM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409

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#40382 - 09/01/01 09:50 AM Re: Languages without Diphthongs?
Geoff Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/12/00
Posts: 819
Loc: Portland,Oregon, USA
Dipthong? Isn't that a woman's swimming suit even skimpier than a bikini?

How about Hawaiian?


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#40383 - 09/01/01 12:06 PM Re: Hawaiian language
wow Offline
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Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
Long post on basic Hawaiian language pronunciation, skip if not interested.General info in later half

Hawaiian has five vowels - a, e, i, o, u, and eight consonants h,k,l,m,n,p,w and '(an okina)

The okina, a glottal stop is a *real consonant sound like all the others. It should be written as leaving it out is like omiting a k or a p or any other letter and the word will be misspelled. In English this sound occurs as a break between the two "O"s as in "Oh-Oh, here comes the boss!"
All vowels have a long and short form. The sound does not change; only the length is different. The length mark, which goes above the vowel aeiou is callled a kahako (long o) or a mekona (macron.) Sorry I do not have the capability to make the macron over the aeiou cited.
It should be enunciated or written whenever it occurs because omitting it changes the pronunciation and often the meaning of the word.
Two other sounds occur in Hawaiian that do not change the meaning of the word. These sounds ae the "w" and the "y" glides that are automaticcally produced between certain vowel combinations.
Hawaiian has only two kinds of syllables V (Vowel) or CV (consonant+vowel) and combinations of these two syllables.
Hawaiian words never have two consonants together and they never end with a consonant.
The ' okina is a consonant so it can never go next to another consonant or at the end of a word.
With words of fewer than four syllables, the stress is on the second to last (penultimate) syllable.

I could go on and on .... the above is from "Ka Lei Ha'aheo" (beginning Hawaiian) by Alberta Pualani Hopkins. Pub. University of Hawai'i Press Copyright 1992
A teacher's Guide and Answer Key to the "Ka Lei Ha'aheo" is part of the "set" by same publisher.
For further information about pronunciation see Pukui and Elbert Hawaiian Dictionary" (1986, pp xvii-xviii and Sylvia Kamana The Hawaiian Language, Its Spelling and Pronunciation."
General info
My Hawaiian friends noted that in spoken Hawaiian every syllable is pronounced.
Further the Hawaiian friends -- mostly native speakers (Hawaiian as a first language)-- tell me that the Boston accent "... is the kindest to the Hawaiian language."
This may be attributed to the fact that the Hawaiian language was first written down by American missionary folk ... all of the early one came from the Boston area and so heard the spoken language with a "Boston ear!"
At least that is the theory.
Before the missionary contingent wrote down the Hawaiian language there was no written language.
Once the language was written the King said everyone should learn to write the language and, according to scholars, the entire population was 95 percent literate in the written language within a year.
Note : The real okina ' looks like the single quote when properly written. My computer does not have it but when I wrote for the Hawaiian newspaper "Ka Wai Ola O OHA" (The living Waters of OHA) the computer had the proper okina available. However the macron we had to put in, very carefully - with an extra sharp felt tip pen - in galleys before the pages went to the printer. (a tricky manuever!) I understand that since my time at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs the macron has been made part of the program.

So, the name of the Hawaiian Island on which Honolulu is located (O'ahu) is properly pronounced O-ah-hoo and, please, note that Honolulu is Honolulu not the usually heard Hon-uh-lulu. Thank you.


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#40384 - 09/01/01 05:13 PM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
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#40385 - 09/01/01 06:08 PM Re: Hawaiian language-Honolulu meaning
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
re meaning of Honolulu ---
Pukui Elbert Hawaiian Dictionary ( the accepted authority) notes that Hono with big H means:
" nvi -Bay, gulch, valley (as part of a place name as in Honolulu)"
The word hono, small h, means
1."to stitch, sew, mend, patch, a joining as of mountains
2. n.- back of the neck, brow of a cliff.
3. n. Rite at the end of kapu loulu rituals during which chiefs sat without shifting positions while a kahuna prayed for as long as an hour.
lulu : "calm, peace, shelter,lee, protection, shield, shelter, cloak, to lie at anchor; to be calm, to shield
honolulu with small h is: to lie quietly in calm waters, as a ship in port; to be calm , to gather together,. etc"

In Hawai'i Honolulu is generally accepted among Native Hawaiians to mean (loosely translated into English) :
"The Gathering Place."


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#40386 - 09/01/01 06:16 PM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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Registered: 08/12/00
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#40387 - 09/02/01 12:22 PM Re: Hawaiian language
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
So are you guys implying that Maaori and Hawaiian are basically the same language just spelled slightly differently? Or are they just very similar, like Dutch and German? Can it be assumed that "native" Hawaiians came from the New Zealand neighborhood?

And what exactly is this macron you're talking about? I know you talked about it before, but I fell asleep in class.


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#40388 - 09/02/01 12:39 PM Re: Hawaiian language
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
Trustees from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) made a trip to visit Maori and discovered they can understand each other pretty well when each speaking their own language.
There is evidence that some early Hawaiians came from "The Land of the Long Cloud" (NZ) Imagine! Over that distance, in outrigger canoes with just stars and tides as a guide!
The macron is a short line over a letter to elongate the sound. That's why Max Q uses Maaori - because we have no macron and seeing Maori doesn't lend itself to the long a pronunciation which a macron would make clear. Oh, dear! Am I being clear? (muddled thinking-e) Macron and okina explained, in depth, in earlier post. (huge west-of-Ireland sigh)


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