In BrE, where we do use the word rowlock, those who are familiar with rowing and oarsmanship call it a ˈrɒlək (or possibly ˈrʌlək). Those who are not may instead use a spelling pronunciation ˈrəʊlɒk (compare forehead, where the spelling pronunciation has largely displaced the traditional ˈfɒrɪd).
LDOCE ascribes the spelling pronunciation only to AmE:
row•lock /ˈrɒlək $ ˈroʊ-/ n [C] BrE one of the U-shaped pieces of metal that holds the OARS of a rowing boat
In LPD I proceeded on the assumption that any American rowers who actually needed to use the British term would use a BrE-style pronunciation.
In a trivial way, the same sort of question arises if we ask what the BrE pronunciation of rowboat is. In a sense there isn’t one, because in BrE it is called a rowing boat.
But we have to draw a line somewhere: no one wants to say that in AmE trousers is pronounced pænts.
Reminds me of a linguistic atlas of Texas I saw once - on the map for "potato" it gave the various informants' pronunciations, most of which were variations of [pəˈtɐɪɾɐʊ] or the like - except for one informant near Fredricksburg whose pronunciation of the word in question was [kɑrˈtɔfl̩]! (And Americans do use the word "trousers" too sometimes, it's not one of those British-only words like "whinge" and "dodgy".)ReplyDelete
oarlock is the original word, that is, it is also the original Br. formReplyDelete
A similar case concerns Bavaria and Bayern. "Bavaria" is supposed to be the English word for "Bayern", but I find that it's almost 50:50 which one a British person will use. Would it be non-sensical to ask for the British pronunciation of "Bayern"? I'd say "no" as the word is pronounced whenever Bayern Munich play in football. The German pronunciation varies between /baɪəʁn/ (stressed) and /baɪɐn/ (unstressed). An RP-speaker would not use either of these, although the former might be used by some Scottish/Northumberland speakers.ReplyDelete
@Ed: You certainly have a point here. However, "Bayern" is never, ever pronounced /ˈbaɪəʁn/ in German. You can argue that this is the phonemic representation of the word (but then /ˈbaɪ̯ɐn/ isn't). But in the standard variety of German including its regional variants, the /ʁ/ (or /r/) is always realised as a vowel. The standard pronunciation has [ˈbaɪ̯ɐn], in a Northern pronunciation you hear things like [ˈbɑɪ̯an] and so on.ReplyDelete
Great, now I know an English word (in two varieties) for a piece of equipment that I don't know the word in Dutch (my native language) for. Have to look it up now...ReplyDelete
I have been in Munich this last week, and I noticed that everyone referred to it as /ˈbaɪ̯ɐn/. However, every German dictionary I've ever seen has always transcribed an r-sound here. So, "hier" is always /hi:r/, "Fenster" is always /fɛnstər/, usz. (The use of /ʁ/ was my own interpretation in the above post).
I had the impression that pronunciations such as /ˈbaɪəʁn/ were reserved for stressed or formal speech. Is this not/no longer the case? If not, I'm curious as regards how German dictionaries became so united on this point.
Phonemic /r/, not phonetic.ReplyDelete
@Ed: Phonemic /r/ in the coda is realised as [ɐ̯] after long vowels. Hence, "hier" /hiːr/ [hiːɐ̯], "Tür" /tyːr/ [tʰyːɐ̯] etc. In most regional varieties, this rule applies after all vowels: "Herr" /her/ [hɛɐ̯], while the standard has [hɛʁ]. Syllabic [ɐ] is usually interpreted as a sequence of two phonemes, /ər/: "Fenster" /ˈfenstər/ [ˈfɛnstɐ].ReplyDelete
Of course, this phonemic analysis isn't unproblematic, particularly for varieties where there is no difference between [ɐ] and [a]: If "Opa" and "Oper" (supposed to be /ˈoːpa/ and /ˈoːpər/, respectively) are pronounced identically as [ˈoːpʰa], both should be analysed as /ˈoːpa/ - and we'd end up with /ˈfensta/ and, indeed, [ˈbaɪ̯an].
Thanks, I understand now. I like to think my German is fairly advanced, but I don't know it all yet. I find the phonetics of German interesting as they have such a large number of vowel sounds compared with English.ReplyDelete
Really? I thought even if you count German long and short vowels separately, we still have more vowels in English.ReplyDelete
Now Spanish is a different matter.
I find that German dictionaries give about 15 short vowels and 10 long vowels. There are fewer dipthongs though. Some of the distinctions in German phonetics might seem very small: for example, most dictionaries give /e/ in Etage, /ɛ/ in Wäsche as separate; /e:/ in Tee and /ɛ:/ in zählen as separate; /y/ and /ʏ/; /i/ and /ɪ/, und so weiter. These distinctions would seem small to most English-speakers (although, where I live in Yorkshire, "day" and "dare" would be /de:/ and /dɛ:/, so that distinction exists).ReplyDelete
I looked up the Wikipedia page, and thought it was quite good http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:IPA_for_German If this page is accurate, many of the slight distinctions mentioned above are a clash between a native vowel and a borrowed vowel from another language.
To illustrate what I mean, have a look at Paul Joyce's lecture on German phonemes http://userweb.port.ac.uk/~joyce1/gramlect/gramlect11.ppt If you skip to slide 11.26 and go from there, it takes you through the lax-tense pairs in German.ReplyDelete
There once was a fellow called FollocksReplyDelete
Endowed with magnificent bollocks
He went for a row
In a dinghy you know
And caught the damn things in the rowlocks