spanick wrote: ↑
20 Sep 2019 18:20
Guess who showed up in r/badlinguistics?
Unfortunately, none of thevietguy's other reddit posts regarding this really go much deeper into the proposal than we've seen so far. Personally I'm willing to bet that some of this is down to their translation attempts (I'd rather not assume, but it would seem that English is their second language, and while definitely proficient, I would assume that they're not necessarily at the level of fluency that some members of the board are, which likely hampers their ability to respond quickly in English, which, further, could be why they haven't replied as quickly as other members).
Aaaaaanyway, it does seem, thevietguy, that you're attributing tone directly to the vowel (I mean, it's not an outlandish thought, given that, for instance, vowel length in some languages is disputed, is it one long vowel, or two short vowels in succession, probably depends on the language), but given that tone can also... "float" (tone in and of itself in some languages acts as a grammatical marker and moves around a bit. Interesting feature worth reading up on), and that tones are also subject to their own allophony independent of vowel quality, length, stress, etc. (see Mandarin as the go-to example of this, but I think Vietnamese has tone sandhi as well), tone is generally considered an independent feature, affecting the syllable, mora, or word, depending, again, on the language (so in Vietnamese, you have the six tones, ngang
, and ngã
, and then 33(?) vowels, if you count the various diphthongs and triphthongs independently, 11 if you don't, rather than, say 198 or 66 independent vowels*). Cantonse, for example, has 13 vowels and 6 tones (yes, some people say 9, but that includes the closed syllables separately and personally there doesn't seem to be much of a synchronic reason to do so), rather than 78 vowels. And so on.
I'd be interested to know why you might conflate vowel quality/length with tone into a single category (which you appear to label simply as "vowel"), yet appear to be content to divide consonants (presumably according to some idea regarding how they are written, rather than their nature as sounds). I admit I'm ignorant as to how Vietnamese is taught in schools, especially in Vietnam (although you also mention having moved to the USA?). Are vowels and tone taught as "inseparable" when learning to write Vietnamese? I'm not even sure how a Vietnamese dictionary might be arranged. Are tone diacritics ignored or are they treated, in combination with their vowel, as a single unit?
*I'm interested to know how you came to the conclusion that Vietnamese has 56 vowels. 56, of course, falls short of a multiple of 6 (or goes over). Are there some vowels which don't take certain tones?