if you are an Experienced Linguist, hear my grateful cry
I need a microphone/voice recorder to get sound samples for my Ling 110 term project. What has reasonable quality (i.e. analyzable with Praat), is somewhat portable, and isn’t too expensive? Any suggestions?
Today I had my first session with my ‘language consultant’ for the Ling 110 term project.
Find a native speaker of a language you don’t know (that isn’t commonly taught in American high schools, i.e. not French/German/Italian/Spanish), and try to figure out the phonetics, phonology and some suprasegmentals of that language.
Otherwise known as 'intro to fieldwork’.
Thankfully, my 'language consultant’ is simply a very good friend who was actually the subject of someone’s Ling 110 project last fall, so he has an idea of how many times he’ll have to repeat a word while I mangle it repeatedly.
The good thing about Hindi is that its vowel system isn’t too different from that of English. The consonants, however, are another thing entirely. I seem to be proficient enough in producing retroflex stops, but the retroflex flap [ɽ] is really causing me problems. Then there’s aspirated [b], which I can only get right by accident, never intentionally.
The other difficult consonants are dentals – Hindi is one of the few languages that have true dentals, i.e. the tongue does not touch the alveolar ridge at all. Plus, Hindi distinguishes differences between [t̪] and [d̪] and their aspirated forms. Mandarin has [t̪ʰ], which is somewhat helpful, but only just somewhat.
My admiration of all my professors who document rare languages has just shot up. Immensely. You can know how hard a task is but not feel it until you try doing it.