March 21st, 2009


Hungarian Vowels

I've been listening to a ton of Hungarian hits from the 30s to the 60s, so I've had a good chance to listen to sung Hungarian, but not much else. I'm aware of what the Hungarian vowel inventory is supposed to be on paper, however I'm hearing some things with the vowel <é> that are particularly interesting, and I'm curious if anyone knows if this is more a result of sung Hungarian, or what the variation on this vowel is.

Sometimes <é> ends up sounding much much higher, like [i:] (similar to Hungarian: <í>), and even at times (or from some singers) it sounds like something more central, like [ɨ:] (kind of like Russian: <ы>). The reason I am careful to point out that my only input is from song is because I've heard some singers in English produce something that sounds like [ɨ] for /i/. I'm not looking for comments on singing best practices of course; but if it relates, please tell me. :)

For some Hungarians are <é> and <í> exactly the same, or is this a result of singing?

French accent

Hi guys,

I hope someone can help me with some phonetic transcription. Phonology isn't my forte especially when it's a French accent. I just need some transcription help with the sentence "I've come to learn English, have I come to the right place?" in the first video and the timing is 6:26 to 6:33. And in the second video, it's the sentence "We are lucky to have such good handsome teacher" from 2:10 to 2:24.

In case the videos aren't showing up, here are the links:

video 1 and video 2

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Participants wanted!

 I am currently looking for people to participate in a study of bilingualism. It is part of an undergraduate course regarding the syntax of bilingualism at the University of Toronto. 

I require people who speak both Farsi and English and currently live in an English speaking country. The research experiment involves creating Farsi sentences using some English words, judging the acceptability of some mixed sentences, and a language profile questionnaire. 

It will take approximately 30 to 60 minutes to complete. There is no compensation, but it is an opportunity to contribute to academic research regarding bilingualism (and you will be doing me a huge favour!). 

If you are interested in participating, or would like to know more, please comment here or email me at 

Thank you, and happy new year! 

(PS - you don't need to be able to read and write Farsi. It's all transliterated into the English alphabet!)  


French help

My fellow linguaphiles, I'd be forever grateful if you can answer my following French questions which i've pondered on for hours and still can't get it.

Tu te lèves a quelle heure?

I know this sentence means "what time do you get up?", what i don't get it is the "te" here. If i were to answer the question, I'd have to say "Je me lève a sept heures". What are these "te" and "me"? What do they exactly mean and fuction as?

Also, J'y vais 3 fois par semaine, I think this sentence means "I go there 3 times per week", am i right? If i were correct, how to apply this "y" into other sentences?

The last but not the least, in these sentences "Je n'aime que toi" and "je n'aime jamais toi", "toi" means "you" right? Is it correct to use "je n'aime que vous/tu"? If not, why is it? 

I'm very sorry for asking simple questions like these, but my lecturer is being not helpful in answering my doubt at all, if not the worse, ignoring my questions. When he explained to us how "du" is formed, he didn't even mention "de + le" until i pointed out. so.

  • Current Mood
    hopeful help please?
  • Tags