[b-hebrew] shewa in imperative

Stoney Breyer stoneyb at touchwood.net
Fri Jun 24 09:30:51 EDT 2005

-----Original Message-----
> I don't argue that "harass" or any other word could be pronounced
> differently. My point is, any speaker differentiates accent and vowel
> length among neutral, question, and exclamation.This is how we hear
> intonation. In exclamation, notably commands, first vowel is routinely
> reduced, just listen to milspeak.I hear the same in Arabic and

In English the principal vehicle for "intonation" is pitch contour. No
difference of stress, vowel length, or vowel quality distinguishes
indicative, interrogative and exclamatory uses. Vowel length and quality
may vary (phonetically but not phonemically), but this is a function of
syntactic emphasis and not mode.

As for "Milspeak" and commands - - 
a) This is an artificial context in which non-linguistic considerations
such as cadence, cuing, and field of audibility/intelligibility distort
linguistic convention, and

b) At least in American military usage, the command context does not
exaggerate vowel reduction; on the context, it tends to reverse
reduction, e.g. "prEE-sent Arms"

Stoney Breyer

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