on ji again

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Annadbs
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on ji again

Post by Annadbs » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:04 pm

Hello! I have seen the old posts about "ji" but my question is slightly different so I post a new topic.
I have been tought that ji is pronunced /ei/ (open /e/), on this site and on Wikipedia the standard pronunciation is given as /ei/.
I have no problems with the sound of it, me being of Italian mother tongue.
My problem is that recently a friend of mine from Utrecht told me that "dijk" must be read /daik/ and that /deik/ is wrong. I remember hearing also on youtube /main/ instead of /mein/ for mijn and so on. Therefore now I am confused. Is it a matter of dialects? Thank you for helping!!

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Bert
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Re: on ji again

Post by Bert » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:35 pm

Hi!

You can edit your post by clicking on the EDIT button. For example, if you should want to change "ji" to "ij".

I wish you success with your Dutch studies!

Bert

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Quetzal
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Re: on ji again

Post by Quetzal » Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:54 pm

Annadbs wrote:Hello! I have seen the old posts about "ji ij" but my question is slightly different so I post a new topic.
I have been tought that ji ij is pronunced /ei/ (open /e/), on this site and on Wikipedia the standard pronunciation is given as /ei/.
I have no problems with the sound of it, me being of Italian mother tongue.
My problem is that recently a friend of mine from Utrecht told me that "dijk" must be read /daik/ and that /deik/ is wrong. I remember hearing also on youtube /main/ instead of /mein/ for mijn and so on. Therefore now I am confused. Is it a matter of dialects? Thank you for helping!!
It's definitely a matter of dialect to some extent. I can't be sure what sound exactly your friend from Utrecht meant by "/daik/", so I'm going to have to guess. I would think that the point he/she was trying to make wasn't really about the vowel sound itself, but about the ending - in most Dutch (as opposed to Flemish) pronunciations, the "ei" sound gets a strong "j" at the end, so it's kind of "dij-jk", if that makes any sense to you.

In any case, in Dutch, the sounds "ei" and "ij" are completely identical - in all dialects, as far as I'm aware.

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Re: on ji again

Post by Joke » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:20 pm

In some dialects around Amsterdam the ij is pronounced ai (as in mais). Utrecht might fall into that region as well. In standard Dutch, ei and ij are pronounced identical.
In any case, in Dutch, the sounds "ei" and "ij" are completely identical - in all dialects, as far as I'm aware.
In certain (actually quite a lot) dialects in the east of the Netherlands, ij is pronounced as standard Dutch ie, but ei is not. I have a colleague from that region who told me that he always wondered how other people knew the difference between ij and ei, because he always used the difference in pronunciation in his dialect to remember the difference. Until he realized that he did learn the difference between ou and au without any difference in sound.

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Re: on ji again

Post by Annadbs » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:28 pm

Thank you all for your help. I have finally been given the technical explanation of what you have been explaining here so just for the sake of sharing I am posting it here as well: "unstressed vowels are usually centralized to almost an /ə/".

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Re: on ji again

Post by Quetzal » Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:38 pm

Annadbs wrote:Thank you all for your help. I have finally been given the technical explanation of what you have been explaining here so just for the sake of sharing I am posting it here as well: "unstressed vowels are usually centralized to almost an /ə/".
That's correct, but none of us were actually talking about that? If you think that's what we were talking about, you must be misunderstanding something...

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Bert
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Re: on ji again

Post by Bert » Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:04 pm

Maybe some people can benefit from this piece of information (although it's just loosely connected to the original question).
The letter IJ (formerly it was regarded as a separate letter - have a look at older Dutch typewriters) in some cases is officially pronounced as . For example, bijzonder [bi'zɔndər]. And in other cases as [ə]: all the words that end with -lijk(e), e.g. natuurlijk [na'tyrlək].

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Re: on ji again

Post by Annadbs » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:49 pm

I was being polite :-D
The piece of information I posted answers exactly my question about the sound of "ij". It was clearly you who misunderstood my question but i did not want to be rude since you are being kind and helping us poor learners :-D
But now all seems clear:
"ij" is read like "ei" that is /εi/.
In unstressed syllable it becomes a /ə/, this agrees with what you say about words ending in "-lijk".
As to bijzonder I have found that it is one special case: the (old) sound [iː] is correct standard pronunciation, although is more common and [ɛi] is also allowed.
Is this correct?

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Bert
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Re: on ji again

Post by Bert » Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:13 pm

At first I thought you might have a Chinese question with "ji". :) And that is only why I clicked on this thread because it's basically a Dutch language forum, and your question made me curious. So I became a bit downhearted when I realised that it was just the usual "ij" issue. Such is life.

I think Joke has answered your primary question.
Annadbs wrote:As to bijzonder I have found that it is one special case: the (old) sound [iː] is correct standard pronunciation, although is more common and [ɛi] is also allowed.
Is this correct?


Methinks: yes, it is*. I learn every new Dutch word's correct pronunciation so I have no such problems. (Or if I do, I ask native speakers in the appropriate topic.) By the way, I use woorden.org:
http://www.woorden.org/index.php?woord=bijzonder
*Please note that the above website's is what you indicated as [iː]; and what you'd write as is [ɪ] there. As for me I wouldn't pronounce bijzonder's i too long but it doesn't matter since I'm no native speaker. :D

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