ᑎᒃᑖᓕᒃ - Learning ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ (Inuktitut)

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Deinonysus
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Re: Learning ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ (Inuktitut) | Working on French - FSI & Star Wars

Postby Deinonysus » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:08 pm

ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ

I am working on Chapter 5 of Inuktitut the Hard Way, which starts getting into possession. Possession is fairly complicated in Inuktitut, and in fact the entire first volume (out of three) of Mallon's Introductory Inuktitut v2.2 is devoted to possession. I'm going to take a bit of a detour to talk about head marking and what that means for possession.

What is head marking?

In a noun phrase involving possession, the possessee is considered to be the head, and the possessor is considered to be a dependent. This may seem counterintuitive, but remember that when I'm talking about Bob's burgers, I am primarily talking about the burgers and only indirectly talking about Bob. In the sentence "the dog is eating Bob's burgers", the fact that the burgers belong to Bob is extra information and the sentence does not change drastically if you leave that information out. But you can't remove the word "burgers", or else the dog would be eating Bob instead.

Dependent marking (possessive/genitive case)

In this noun phrase, English marks the dependant, Bob, and not the head, burgers. So this is an example of dependent marking, because the dependent is marked by adding the "'s" (possessive, AKA genitive case), but the head is not marked for possession.

Head marking (construct state or absolutive case)

In contrast, Hebrew marks the head. For example, in the phrase בית ספר (beyt sefer, literally "house of book" or "book's house"), the word for house is put into the construct state, meaning that it is possessed. If it weren't possessed, it would be pronounced bayit (spelled the same in Hebrew without vowels). If you forget which is the head and which is the dependent, remember that the head cannot be removed without changing the sentence. "A kid walks into a book's house" is basically the same as "A kind walks into a house", but very different from "a kid walks into a book."

Hebrew nouns in the construct state can also inflect to show the possessor, as in ביתי (beyti, "my house") or ביתנו (beytenu, "our house").

I believe that Nahuatl has something like a reverse construct state called the absolutive case, where every non-possessed noun is marked with a -tl suffix (with slight variations based on phonological rules), as in axolotl, xocolatl (chocolate), tomatl (tomato), or āhuacatl (avocado), as well as the name of the language itself.

Zero marking

Some languages have zero marking for possession. For example, in Indonesian, you show possession using syntax alone. Orang hutan is "man of the forest", or "forest man". Neither orang nor hutan are marked for possession. See also the Indonesian term for "sun", mata hari (literally, "eye of the day", or "day eye").

Double marking

Other languages double-mark, meaning that both the head and the dependent are marked. I believe that this is the case with Arabic; it has a construct state like Hebrew to mark the head (possessee), but it also has a genitive case to mark the dependent (possessor).

Inuktitut is also double marking. It has a genitive case, but possessed nouns also inflect to show the possessor. There is no construct state, but possessor agreement is mandatory. A good example of this is the children's show ᐊᓈᓇᐅᑉ ᑐᐱᖔ (Anaanaup Tupinga, or "Anaana's (Mother's) Tent").

ᐊᓈᓇ (Anaana, "Mother"), gets the genitive case ending ᐅᑉ (up) to become ᐊᓈᓇᐅᑉ (Anaanaup). But nouns can also inflect to show the possessor, just like in Hebrew. For example, the possessive marker meaning "our" is ᕗᑦ (vut), so "our land" is ᓄᓇᕗᑦ (nunavut). But unlike in Hebrew, the possessor inflection seems to be mandatory in Inuktitut, so even though you have already shown the possessor in the genitive case, you need to also inflect the possessed noun for a third person possessor. So ᑐᐱᖅ (tupiq, "tent") gets the ending ᖔ (nga), which deletes the final consonant, so it becomes ᑐᐱᖔ (tupinga, "his/her/its tent"). The full title literally means "Mother's (her)-tent".

Français

I started refreshing the first dialogue for FSI Basic French, but I kept tripping over certain vowels, so I think I could really benefit from going through FSI French Phonology: Programmed Introduction. I can't do it in the car and I've been to tired to do it at night, but I'm sure I'll get to it.

In the meantime, I've been going through some Star Wars materials in chronological (not release) order, and when I have it available in French, I'm watching it in French. I just started watching the 2003 Clone Wars series (the 2D version by Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Lab, and Samurai Jack). Next I'll watch the 3D Clone Wars in French, then Episode III in English because I don't have access to a French dub.

Some important Star Wars French phrases that I've picked up from Clone Wars and KOTOR:
  • "May the force be with you": « Que la force soit avec vous »
  • "For the Republic!": « Pour la République ! »
  • "Dark Jedi": « Jedi obscur »
  • "Darth": « Dark »
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Re: ᑎᒃᑖᓕᒃ - Learning ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ (Inuktitut)

Postby Deinonysus » Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:29 pm

I was working on Spanish and Biblical Hebrew for a while, but I just took a month off of language learning to veg out, watch a bunch of TV and movies, and play some video games. However, I got sucked back into Inuktitut, and I've been working on that for about a week.

I started by reviewing Inuktitut the Hard Way. Going by my last post it looks like I was working on chapter 5 when I was last working on Inuktitut in January, and that's where I am now.

However, I've been focusing on The Structure of Inuktitut, which is a set of exe files that provides an interactive learning environment. It allows you to type (in the Latin alphabet) in a large number of exercises, so it's much better than the other materials which are not interactive. It is also explaining the concepts very well and it's completely self-contained.

Right now I've finished chapter 4 of 6 in phase 1 of 3. If I can keep my pace going, I should be able to finish the whole course within a month. It will probably help to review each lesson several times, though.

That chapter allows me to string together multi-word sentences for the first time! I was going to change the log title to "I'm learning Inuktitut" in Inuktitut, but then I realized that I only know how to write indefinite sentences, and that would be a definite sentence since Inuktitut is a specific language. So instead I'm renaming it ᑎᒃᑖᓕᒃ (Tiktaalik), which is the name of a fish that is considered to be an important transitional species to land dwellers that was discovered in ᓄᓇᕗᑦ (Nunavut).

I believe that ᑎᒃᑖᓕᒃ is composed of the root ᑎᑭᖅ (tikiq), meaning "forefinger", the suffix ᑖᖅ (taaq), meaning "newly-aquired", and ᓕᒃ (lik), meaning "one with". So together the word would mean "one with new forefingers", which would make a lot of sense.

Non-specific sentences are pretty simple. You leave the subject unmarked, add the accusative case marker ᒥᒃ (Mik) to the object if needed, and then write the conjugated verb. SOV order is preferred but not required. But a specific sentence leaves the object unmarked, adds the ergative case marker ᐅᑉ (up) to the subject, and I believe that there is a different conjugation system that marks the person but not number of both the subject and the object. I have an idea of how that would work but don't want to meet around with it until I've completed the relevant lessons, which will be covered in phase 2.
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Re: ᑎᒃᑖᓕᒃ - Learning ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ (Inuktitut)

Postby Deinonysus » Tue Sep 08, 2020 2:16 am

I had gotten it into my head that Inuktitut was not that tough, but last night I got my first taste of really looking into verbs and it melted my brain. That's right, news flash: the language where there's a word for "you two aren't going to look for sealskin boots" is actually pretty hard. I think that sentence in Inuktitut would be ᑲᒥᒃᓯᐅᓛᙱᑦᑐᓯᒃ (kamiksiulaanngittusik), but I probably messed it up.

Still easier than Navajo though (at least so far).

One issue was that there was a lot of material covered in chapters 5 and 6. I didn't end up even finishing chapter 6 because it covered material from chapter 5 that I didn't fully understand. There were a lot of verb suffixes introduced and they all attach to the previous syllable in different ways.

Another issue is that according to Mallon, there are actually two different kinds of verbs in Inuktitut: state verbs and process verbs. State verbs with no specific tense suffix act like the present progressive in English, so ᓯᓂᒃᑐᖓ (siniktunga) means "I am sleeping" (ignore the sleep-talking). But process verbs with no tense suffix correspond to completed actions in the near past, so ᑎᑭᑦᑐᖓ (tikittunga) means "I just arrived". And guess what! No dictionary that I've found will say which verbs are which! Tusaalanga.ca does give a hint that these process verbs (although they don't use that term) tend to be verbs of motion.

To express a process verb in the present, you need to add the suffix ᓕᖅ (liq). So "I am arriving" would be ᑎᑭᓕᖅᑐᖓ (tikiliqtunga). Adding this suffix to a state verb means that it wasn't true until recently, so ᓯᓂᓕᖅᑐᖓ (siniliqtunga) would mean something like "now I'm sleeping".

I think this will start making sense after I review everything a few more times. I want to know the material from phase one cold before I move on to phase two.
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Re: ᑎᒃᑖᓕᒃ - Learning ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ (Inuktitut)

Postby Deinonysus » Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:35 am

I haven't updated in a while so get ready for a wall of text.

tl;dr

I made a new QWERTY-based Inuktitut layout so I can type syllabics without having to spend hours learning a completely alien layout. Also, my daughter went back to daycare so I have a commute for the first time in half a year, and since I don't have any audio-only resources for Inuktitut, I decided to start learning Haitian Creole.

ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ

New Layout

I can finally type in syllabics on a computer!

The default Inuktitut keyboard layout on Windows seemed a bit more difficult to learn than it needed to be so I never bothered with it. The locations of 64 separate symbols on several different layers would need to be memorized. The approach of the Gboard Inuktitut layout (for mobile devices) is much more elegant. You select a consonant, and you can either select a vowel to make it a syllable, or you leave it as a final. I've wanted to create a keyboard layout with a similar idea, but using deadkeys. I tried to do it with the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator, which is a free tool provided by Microsoft. I finally broke down and bought KBDEdit, a much more powerful keyboard layout editor for Windows, and I was finally able to get it to work.

Usually you can have two alphabets in one layout, and you will toggle between them by pressing capslock. The Hebrew layout can access the latin alphabet this way, for instance. Unfortunately, there's a weird technical constraint with Windows where you can't use deadkeys if you map capslock as a separate layer. I got around this by mapping the syllabics to the Kana layer instead, which is reserved for writing Japanese. This is a common workaround for this issue. That way, I was able to support special characters for the Inuktitut Latin script such as ŋ and ł, as well as the many special characters that are required for French.

My new layout supports all three official languages of Nunavut: English, French, and ᐃᓄᒃᑐᑦ (Inuktut). ᐃᓄᒃᑐᑦ is ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ (Inuktitut) lumped together with Inuinnaqtun. It's one of those ambiguous language/dialect situations. It should also be able to write any Inuit language, including Iñupiaq (spoken in Alaska), ᓄᓇᕕᒻᒥᐅᑎᑐᑦ (Nunavimmiutitut, which is spoken in ᓄᓇᕕᒃ (Nunavik) in Northern Québec), and Inuttitut (spoken in Labrador). Greenlandic doesn't use any special characters, but let's mention that too so it sounds more impressive.

Here is what the layout looks like at the moment:
INUKDK.PNG
INUKDK.PNG (25.16 KiB) Viewed 131 times

Every ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ letter on this layout is either a vowel or a consonant deadkey. The vowels are the triangle symbols, and the dot above denotes a long vowel. The triangle pointing down is the diphthong "ai", but this symbol is only used in ᓄᓇᕕᒃ (Nunavik), not ᓄᓇᕗᑦ (Nunavut). Each consonant deadkey is located in the same spot as the QWERTY location for the same consonant as it would be written in the Inuktitut Latin script. I'll get to sounds that don't map directly to QWERTY keys shortly.

So for example, to write the syllable "pi", you would simply type "pi" with the syllabics layer activated and out comes the symbol ᐱ. To type a final (small and superscript), press the consonant and then space.

The sounds that don't map directly to QWERTY keys can each be written two ways. The syllabic symbols corresponding to the Latin letters ł, ŋ (also written 'ng'), and ŋŋ (also written 'nng'), (as well as some others for various dialects) each have their own dedicated keys. However, if you don't want to learn those locations, or you forget where they are, you can just type shift plus a corresponding syllabic consonant. So to type ᐊᖑᑎ (anguti, meaning "man"), you can either type 'aNuti' or 'acuti' with the syllabics layer activated.

There are two extra sounds for the ᓂᑦᑎᓕᖕᒥᐅᑐᑦ (Nattiliŋmiutut) dialect and they are written ř and š. There are proposed syllabics for both of these sounds, but unfortunately only one (ᖮ) is supported in Unicode, so I have put in the existing Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics set "sh" (ᔥ) as a placeholder.

Scary-looking dialect names

As an aside, the name ᓇᑦᑎᓕᖕᒥᐅᑐᑦ (Nattiliŋmiutut) seems like a big scary word but it is quite straightforward. It is composed of the root ᓇᑦᑎᖅ (nattiq, meaning seal, or specifically a ringed seal), and the suffixes ᓕᒃ (lik, meaning "one with" or "place with"), ᒥᐅᑦ (miut, I believe this is the plural of ᒥᐅᖅ (miuq), and ᑐᑦ (tut), which is a case ending meaning "like", but is often used to describe Inuit languages. So in other words, ᓇᑦᑎᓕᒃ (Nattilik) is "the place with seals", and ᓇᑦᑎᓕᖕᒥᐅᑐᑦ (Nattiliŋmiutut) is the language of the people of ᓇᑦᑎᓕᒃ (Nattilik).

ᓄᓇᕕᖕᒥᐅᑐᑦ (Nunavingmiutut) is another scary-looking long name with a very similar derivation. ᓄᓇᕕᒃ (Nunavik) means "great land", so ᓄᓇᕕᖕᓂᐅᑐᑦ (Nunavingmiutut) must be the language of the people of ᓄᓇᕕᒃ (Nunavik).

Learning progress

I finished Phase 1 of Structure of Inuktitut a few days ago. I'll review it again soon before moving on to phase 2, but first I have a lot of vocabulary to learn. This course is bare-bones and doesn't have built-in spaced repetition, so I had to put the vocabulary words in Anki. But I hate reviewing flashcards. I've been neglecting my Anki deck and haven't made much progress on it over the last few days. I suppose I'll get back to it soon.

I finally wrapped my head around the suffixes that were giving me the most trouble.

So let's look at one root, ᑎᑭᑦ (tikit, meaning "enter"). You can't enter without your ticket! Anyway, it is a process verb, so if you add the first person singular verb ending (for instance), you get ᑎᑭᑦᑐᖓ (tikittunga, meaning "I just arrived"). To make it a present progressive action, you insert the suffix ᓕᖅ (liq) right after the root and get ᑎᑭᓕᖅᑐᖓ (tikiliqtunga), meaning "I am arriving"). Or, instead, you could add ᓯᒪ (sima), which would mean I am in the state of having arrived, or in other words, I'm in town: ᑎᑭᓯᒪᔪᖓ (tikisimajunga). To say I was in town, I would add the past tense marker right before the verb ending, giving us ᑎᑭᓯᒪᓚᐅᖅᑐᖓ tikisimalauqtunga.

But... this is the part that tripped me up, because you need to be careful about the order, because the distant past tense marker is ᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪ lauqsima, which looks like the last two suffixes I mentioned but in the reverse order. So if you swap them around, you don't say "I was in town", you say "I arrived a long time ago": ᑎᑭᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᔪᖓ (tikilauqsimajunga).

This wasn't covered in the lesson but I would presume that you can combine these suffixes in unholy ways to yield the word ᑎᑭᓯᒪᓚᐅᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᔪᖓ tikisimalaulauqsimajunga, meaning "I was in town a long time ago".

So I don't think anyone can blame me for taking it easy after that lesson!

Kreòl Ayisyen

As I said in the tl;dr above, my daughter is back it daycare now so I have a commute again for the first time in half a year, and I don't have any audio-only resources for Inuktitut. I thought about starting FSI French, but I would need to memorize dialogues and vocabulary and that would compete with my Inuktitut Anki time. Spanish is out because I've already finished Pimsleur for the dialect I'm focusing on and don't want to switch dialects. I could review Icelandic or Indonesian, but I would probably get sucked into more resources for them.

I decided to start a new Pimsleur course in a new language, and the two candidates were Haitian Creole and Swiss German. They should be very easy for me since I have a decent level of French and Standard German, and Haitian Creole's grammar seems pretty straightforward judging by the Langfocus video, although I can see a few tricky spots.

I decided to start with Haitian Creole since it seemed like the most interesting of the two.

First Impressions

I am able to pick up the sounds quite well since all of the sounds in Haitian Creole also exist in French, although there are some differences. The phonetic spelling kind of shocking for something that sounds so much like French. You hear a word and if you're at all familiar with the writing system, you can spell it perfectly. This may ruin French for me forever.

One mistake I keep making is pronouncing the last syllable of konprann as a nasal vowel. It's in my muscle memory from comprend(s) jn French. The double 'n' indicates that the 'n' sound is pronounced fully in the Haitian Creole version.

Another thing I had to adjust from French is that I need to tone the aggressive guttural sounds way down. The Germans are soft, almost apologetic, with their guttural sounds because they know their elegant language is "aggressive" (which of course it isn't). But since the French know that they have a beautiful, smooth, sexy language, they spit their guttural sounds as aggressively as possible to assert their dominance. I started my lessons pronouncing my 'r' sounds forcefully like a Frenchman, but by the end I realized that I needed to tone it down.

Another thing I noticed is that they have syllabic nasals, which are awesome. The Kreyòl version of monsieur is msye, which I was able to look up and spell correctly on my first try because that is what happens when you don't write your language the way it sounded 500 years ago.

Another interesting thing I noticed is that Haitian Creole uses the conservative French nasal vowels /ɛ̃/, /ã/, and /ɔ̃/. These are the IPA symbols that are usually used for French, but that is not how they sound in standard French due to the Parisian nasal vowel shift! When you hear Parisian or standard neutral French on the TV or radio you will hear:
  • /ɛ̃/ as [æ̃] or [ã]
  • /ã/ as /ɒ̃/ – it becomes rounded! It's a nasal version of the vowel you would hear in the English word "cloth". The original version is unrounded, as in "father".
  • /ɔ̃/ becomes /õ/
But more conservative dialects preserve the original nasal vowels. Some have a fourth vowel /œ̃/, but I don't think Haitian Creole has that.

Plans

It should take me about 6 weeks to get through the course. I also ordered a copy of Assimil's Guide de conversation: Créole Haïtien de poche, which I should get in a couple of days. I've never used the Guide de conversation series before so I'll see how I like it.

I remember hearing a Haitian Creole station on the radio in Boston at some point. I looked it up and it was probably Radio Concorde. Unfortunately I'm too far away from the city proper to get the station at home, but I checked and I'm able to stream it! I wonder how much I'll be able to understand after my 6-week dabble.

After Haitian Creole I think I'll go through my Swiss German Pimsleur set that I got at a used bookstore for a crazy low price but then never used. Sadly it's only ten lessons long. I have no idea what I'll do after that.

Français

Je suppose qu'il me faut écrire un peux en français pour tester cette disposition des touches (je viens d'apprendre ce terme). Je n'ai écrit rien en français depuis longtemps, mais ce n'est pas difficile pour moi maintenant. Peut-être c'est comme faire du vélo. D'habitude il y a longtemps, je lisais les gros titres du Monde. J'en dois recommencer. Maintenant, le plupart du français dont je lis consiste de memes sur Reddit. Généralement, je les comprends sans problèmes.
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: 6 / 15 Structure of Inuktitut

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Re: ᑎᒃᑖᓕᒃ - Learning ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ (Inuktitut)

Postby guyome » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:21 am

Inuktitut sure does sound interesting. Thanks for posting about it!
Do you know about the magazine Inuktitut? It's published in Inuktitut (both syllabic and Latin script), English and French and all past issues can be downloaded so I thought it might be a nice resource.
Deinonysus wrote:Another interesting thing I noticed is that Haitian Creole uses the conservative French nasal vowels /ɛ̃/, /ã/, and /ɔ̃/. These are the IPA symbols that are usually used for French, but that is not how they sound in standard French due to the Parisian nasal vowel shift! When you hear Parisian or standard neutral French on the TV or radio you will hear:
  • /ɛ̃/ as [æ̃] or [ã]
  • /ã/ as /ɒ̃/ – it becomes rounded! It's a nasal version of the vowel you would hear in the English word "cloth". The original version is unrounded, as in "father".
  • /ɔ̃/ becomes /õ/
But more conservative dialects preserve the original nasal vowels.
Are these changes that widespread? Maybe I'm just bad at hearing the difference but, for instance, I don't think I hear something like /ɛ̃/ for /ã/ (admittedly, I don't live in Paris and it's not like I watch TV very often). Just to make sure (because my IPA-fu is weak :)), that means "vin" would today be pronounced like "vent" was before the shift? If so, I can't say that it is something I noticed IRL or in the media. Again, maybe my brain is filtering the difference without me noticing it but still...I'd be careful with treating these sound changes as the new standard.
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Re: ᑎᒃᑖᓕᒃ - Learning ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ (Inuktitut)

Postby Deinonysus » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:52 am

guyome wrote:Inuktitut sure does sound interesting. Thanks for posting about it!
Do you know about the magazine Inuktitut? It's published in Inuktitut (both syllabic and Latin script), English and French and all past issues can be downloaded so I thought it might be a nice resource.
Deinonysus wrote:Another interesting thing I noticed is that Haitian Creole uses the conservative French nasal vowels /ɛ̃/, /ã/, and /ɔ̃/. These are the IPA symbols that are usually used for French, but that is not how they sound in standard French due to the Parisian nasal vowel shift! When you hear Parisian or standard neutral French on the TV or radio you will hear:
  • /ɛ̃/ as [æ̃] or [ã]
  • /ã/ as /ɒ̃/ – it becomes rounded! It's a nasal version of the vowel you would hear in the English word "cloth". The original version is unrounded, as in "father".
  • /ɔ̃/ becomes /õ/
But more conservative dialects preserve the original nasal vowels.
Are these changes that widespread? Maybe I'm just bad at hearing the difference but, for instance, I don't think I hear something like /ɛ̃/ for /ã/ (admittedly, I don't live in Paris and it's not like I watch TV very often). Just to make sure (because my IPA-fu is weak :)), that means "vin" would today be pronounced like "vent" was before the shift? If so, I can't say that it is something I noticed IRL or in the media. Again, maybe my brain is filtering the difference without me noticing it but still...I'd be careful with treating these sound changes as the new standard.

Cool, thanks for the heads up about that magazine! It would be way above my reading level right now, but if I can get better it would be a great resource.

I think you got it backwards, which may be because I was tired when I finished writing that post and this is already a confusing topic.

Never mind, I reread your post and you are correct. I'm tired this morning because I was up late last night writing that post. I believe you are correct, "vin" today is pronounced the way "vent" used to be pronounced long ago. If you haven't strayed much from contemporary standard French sources, you may have never heard the older pronunciation. I wrote a long explanation so I'll leave it in:

So there are traditionally four nasal vowels in French:
  • spelling: <in>. Example: vin
    • IPA representation: /ɛ̃/ (sounds like the english word "vent" with the final vowels chopped off).
    • Actual sound in standard French: [æ̃] or [ã]. The former sounds like the English word "van" with the final consonant chopped off. The latter vowel is a bit more open (imagine the fake word "varn" with a Boston accent).
  • spelling: <en> or <an>. Example: vent
    • IPA representation: /ã/ (sounds like the fake English word "varn" with a Boston accent, with the final consonant chopped off).
    • Actual sound today in standard French: [ɒ̃] or [ɔ̃]. Sounds like the British English pronunciation of "von" (as in von Trapp), or possibly the fake British word "vorn", respectively.
  • spelling: on. Example: vont
    • IPA representation: /ɔ̃/ (sounds like the fake British word "vorn").
    • Actual sound today in standard French: [ɔ̃] or [õ]. The former sounds like the fake British word "vorn". The latter sounds like the French word "veau" but nasalized.
  • spelling: un. Example: un
    • IPA representation: /œ̃/ (sounds like the vowel in sœur but nasalized).
    • Actual sound today in standard French: merged with <in>, see above.

So as you say, the word "vin" is now pronounced in standard French roughly the way "vent" used to be pronounced universally (and is still pronounced in conservative dialects), and "vent" is pronounced in standard French the way "vont" used to be pronounced (and it's still pronounced in conservative dialects).

And confusingly, the IPA symbols that are typically used to describe French nasal vowels are the old ones, which is not how modern standard French sounds.

To my ears, Haitian creole uses the conservative nasal vowels which are different from standard modern French. If you are not aware of the vowel shift this can be very confusing.

If you listen to the first lesson of FSI Basic French, the female voice uses the familiar modern Parisian vowels, but the make voice uses the conservative vowels.
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guyome
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Re: ᑎᒃᑖᓕᒃ - Learning ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ (Inuktitut)

Postby guyome » Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:10 pm

Interesting! I did more reading and it seems my misunderstanding came from several factors: the fact that "Parisian French" is still in use as a descriptive category when it probably is not as relevant as it might have been 100 or 50 years ago; the fact that I thought we were speaking of a rather recent shift (20/30 years at most); the fact that apparently, as you mention above, phonetic descriptions use IPA in an outdated way.

If you haven't strayed much from contemporary standard French sources, you may have never heard the older pronunciation.
Oh no, I've strayed aplenty and have heard the old pronunciation (aka "FSI male voice"), or something like it at least. But the shift from "FSI male voice" to "FSI female voice" is so widespread now that I didn't even understand we were speaking of that. The IPA shennanigans and "Parisian French" made me think we were discussing a more recent, specifically Parisian, shift away from "FSI female voice", which is why I got confused.

After having listened to the FSI Basic French's Classrooms expressions, I can say that, to me, the female voice is indeed the standard for nasals now. Not just in Paris, not just in the media. Everyone I hear around me (not close to Paris) sounds like her*. That is true also for older generations: my grand-parents (born in the 1920s and early 1930s, in two different regions of France) all sound(ed) like her as far as I can tell. The male voice sounds distinctively very old fashioned to me. I never hear, maybe even never heard, anyone speak like that in real life**. Based on this, I would advise learners against modelling their speech on him, as far as nasals are concerned, if they're aiming for French as spoken in France. But I'd be interested in having other native speakers commenting on that since the above is, after all, just my personal experience. Things may vary from region to region (for instance, the "brun"/"brin" distinction is still alive in some places).

*Not entirely true. Some people around here still have a regional accent but it is unlike both FSI female and male voices and never was considered standard in any way, shape or form.
**The FSI course being from the 1960s, I also just did a quick check with a 1961 movie and, to me, none of the actors
(some of them more than middle-aged) pronounces nasals like "FSI male voice".
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Deinonysus
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Re: ᑎᒃᑖᓕᒃ - Learning ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ (Inuktitut)

Postby Deinonysus » Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:26 pm

guyome wrote:Interesting! I did more reading and it seems my misunderstanding came from several factors: the fact that "Parisian French" is still in use as a descriptive category when it probably is not as relevant as it might have been 100 or 50 years ago; the fact that I thought we were speaking of a rather recent shift (20/30 years at most); the fact that apparently, as you mention above, phonetic descriptions use IPA in an outdated way.

If you haven't strayed much from contemporary standard French sources, you may have never heard the older pronunciation.
Oh no, I've strayed aplenty and have heard the old pronunciation (aka "FSI male voice"), or something like it at least. But the shift from "FSI male voice" to "FSI female voice" is so widespread now that I didn't even understand we were speaking of that. The IPA shennanigans and "Parisian French" made me think we were discussing a more recent, specifically Parisian, shift away from "FSI female voice", which is why I got confused.

After having listened to the FSI Basic French's Classrooms expressions, I can say that, to me, the female voice is indeed the standard for nasals now. Not just in Paris, not just in the media. Everyone I hear around me (not close to Paris) sounds like her*. That is true also for older generations: my grand-parents (born in the 1920s and early 1930s, in two different regions of France) all sound(ed) like her as far as I can tell. The male voice sounds distinctively very old fashioned to me. I never hear, maybe even never heard, anyone speak like that in real life**. Based on this, I would advise learners against modelling their speech on him, as far as nasals are concerned, if they're aiming for French as spoken in France. But I'd be interested in having other native speakers commenting on that since the above is, after all, just my personal experience. Things may vary from region to region (for instance, the "brun"/"brin" distinction is still alive in some places).

*Not entirely true. Some people around here still have a regional accent but it is unlike both FSI female and male voices and never was considered standard in any way, shape or form.
**The FSI course being from the 1960s, I also just did a quick check with a 1961 movie and, to me, none of the actors
(some of them more than middle-aged) pronounces nasals like "FSI male voice".

Thanks, interesting! Your confusion is understandable, I should have been more clear. I believe the shift began in Paris but of course it's now the standard non-regional pronunciation. Another regional accent that mostly preserves the older nasal vowels is Québecois, although it has plenty of its own innovations.

I was trying to point out that although the IPA symbols for nasal vowels are hopelessly outdated for French (at least standard, non-regional French), they are accurate for Haitian Creole because it was born well before the vowel shift began.
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Re: ᑎᒃᑖᓕᒃ - Learning ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ (Inuktitut)

Postby Deinonysus » Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:31 pm

ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ

I finally went through my whole Anki deck for Structure of Inuktitut! It will probably take a few days for all of the new vocabulary to sink in. In the meantime, I'm reviewing the lessons of Unit 1 one more time before I start in on Unit 2 and have to start adding new vocabulary.

I got two new board books in Inuktitut. They're by the ᐃᖃᓗᐃᑦ (Iqaluit) based band ᐸᐃ ᒌᓚᖃᐅᑎᒃᑯᑦ (Pai Gaalaqautikkut, better known as The Jerry Cans). They are based on songs that they performed on the ᐃᓄᒃᑦᐃᑐᑦ Children's Show ᐊᓃᓇᐅᑉ ᑐᐱᖓ (Anaanaup Tupinga, or Anaana's Tent; anaana means mother).

That triples the English-ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ children's books I own! Here are all three!
Inuktitut Books.jpg
Inuktitut Books.jpg (330.02 KiB) Viewed 20 times

I've been reading the two new books two my daughter in English and Inuktitut, particularly ᓈᓴᐃᓗᒃ! (Naasailuk! Let's Count!). She loves counting! But I'm a bit slow reading the ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ so she get's bored and walks away before I can finish the book.

Kreyòl Ayisyen

My copy of Créole Haïtien de Poche came in yesterday and I started reading the introduction. It doesn't seem like my French has rusted. There are a couple of words per page that I don't understand, but I can figure out what's going on through context. I'm not trying to systematically study every word in the book and memorize all the vocabulary, but I'll try to keep reading a bit every night.
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