Phonetic difference between kamatz and kamatz-hatup

Discussion in 'Languages' started by Filter, Feb 16, 2019.

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  1. Filter

    Filter Puritan Board Freshman


    I was wondering what, however minute, the phonetic sound of בָ is. I have been taught that kamatz is like the a in “father” and the kamatz-hatup is like the o in “cot”, but that seems identical to me.

    Does anyone have any examples or demonstrations that help show the distinction between the two?
  2. iainduguid

    iainduguid Puritan Board Sophomore

    Perhaps the difference between "far" (an "a" sound) and "cosh" (an "o" sound). Comparative pronunciations are always tricky because different accents often have different vowel sounds: "father" sounds quite different in a Scottish accent ("faither") than in the South of England ("fahther").
  3. Filter

    Filter Puritan Board Freshman

    That is actually a bit helpful (although the term 'cosh' isn't really in my vernacular), thank you!
  4. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    I didn't understand vowels until I met someone from the Bronx.

    Really. I grew up learning northwest intermountain English. "Merry," "marry," and "Mary" are pronounced the same.

    But I learned the distinct difference when I spent some time in New York. "Merry" is similar to "Murray," "marry" has an 'a' like "atrophy," and "Mary" has an 'a' more like the 'e' in "errand." Of course, it's hard to explain, but I wonder how well pronunciation guides account for accents.

    I listened to Hebrew recordings and suddenly the vowel points started to make sense.
  5. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    In any language, vowels are most easily corrupted. What are some of the greatest differences between dialects and related languages? Vowels.

    The reason is fairly simple. Vowels are open-mouth sounds. It's easy blend an a into an o or vice versa, which is done commonly enough. Take the US Midwest accent, for example. How do you say "It's hot today" in North Dakota?

    English and German, sister languages though long separated, have numerous cognates. Consider English hat and German Hut. Or English cow and German Kuh.

    In many cases vowels in between consonants are reduced entirely (most commonly in English with the word to).

    All this is just to say that Dr. Duguid is quite right about the difficulty of comparative pronunciations. Unless there's a standard English that is being referenced, those comparisons are useless or confusing.

    For more fun reading on vowels in English, see here:
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