Monday, 22 April 2013

click farewell

How come, you might ask, that a word spelled with -c- comes to be pronounced with an l? Why this gross discrepancy between spelling and sound, orthography and pronunciation?

Blame the 1989 Kiel Convention of the IPA, which replaced the click symbols then in use, ʇ ʗ ʖ, by the current ǀ ǃ ǁ.

Because the second syllable of this word is pronounced in Zulu with a voiceless dental click. Unfortunately in some fonts the currently official IPA symbol for this sound looks indistinguishable from a lower-case L.

For further discussion, together with a number of sensible readers' comments, see my blog for 9 Sep 2009.

_ _ _

…In fact over recent months I have increasingly been feeling that in this blog I have by now already said everything of interest that I want to say. And if I have nothing new to say, then the best plan is to stop talking.

So I am now discontinuing my blog.

Thank you, all those readers who have stayed with me over the seven years that I have been writing it. If you still need a regular fix, there are archives stretching back to 2006 for you to rummage through.

Goodbye, au revoir, tschüss, hwyl, cześć, tot ziens, до свидания, さようなら, ĝis!

ˌðæts \ɪt

77 comments:

  1. ɡʊdˈbaɪ, dʒɑn, ænd θæŋks fɚ ə ɡreɪt blɑɡ!

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  2. A very sad day indeed, John. I have learned more from this one site over the last seven years than I can possibly say : thank you so much for creating it, and for keeping it going for so long. I am sure I am speaking on behalf of all of your loyal readers when I say that it will be sadly missed. My sincere thanks to you (and to all who have contributed), and very best wishes for whatever project(s) you commence in the future.

    Philip Taylor

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  3. Ĝis revid’, John.

    Is tot siens Afrikaans? It looks so similar to the Dutch tot ziens.

    Charlie Ruland

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    Replies
    1. It does happen to be Afrikaans, but also my mistake - now corrected.

      Delete
  4. My best wishes for the future, John -- the archives of this blog will be a source of pleasure for us for many years. Keep up the URL, and pop by occasionally. There will always be something new -- remember l'esprit d'escalier, or the Punch cartoon of the man who dramatically leaves the room only to remember that he's left his pipe on the mantelpiece.

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  5. Thank you so much for your thrilling blogs over the years. It has been wonderful to read such readable pieces in which your personality and learning have shone through. I have learned so much. Best wishes.

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  6. "have by now already said everything of interest that I want to say" - Though I cannot mind-read and determine what you want to say, I can say without hesitation that every blog post was of interest to me (and, given the frequent discussions, many others as well), and probably would have been for years to come.

    Blogging fatigue is around the corner of every blogger's mind, and it's always said to see a blogger, especially of your caliber, to leave. It was a privilege though to have been reading it and enjoying not only your expertise in phonology, but your life's adventures as well (from the upsides like you and your partner becoming civil partners, to downsides like your recent stroke).

    So that leaves me to wish you all the best for years to come, and enjoy a well-earned (blogging) retirement.

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  7. The end of an era.

    Thanks for all your fascinating posts over the years. I only discovered your blog in the summer of 2010 but it swiftly became my favourite and within a couple of months I'd devoured the entire archive. I haven't missed a single post since then, even when I've been on holiday.

    Best of luck in the future, and I hope you enjoy some well-deserved rest.

    piː mæk ənɛnə

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  8. The end of an era.

    I have enjoyed reading your blog for some years now. I liked the way that you wrote about different languages and about English accents other than RP. It's been clear that you love your subject and enjoy discussing it with others. It's also been good to see how many people there are who are interested in phonetics. I wonder if you were surprised by how popular this blog became.

    Fare thee well,
    Ed Aveyard

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  9. Thank you for the blog, John. I've found it very useful and interesting over the years, and have recommended particular posts and ideas to many of my BA and MA students.

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  10. Wow, this is such saddening news.

    Thank you very much indeed for creating this wonderful blog, putting in years of hard work.

    But the AoE recordings \will be posted, /won't they? I'm so eagerly waiting for them!

    May the best blog I've ever known rest in peace.

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  11. Thank you very much, John.
    ¡Hasta pronto! ;)

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  12. Levente Frindt wrote : "But the AoE recordings \will be posted, /won't they?". And if AoE in hardback (now virtually unobtainable) could be re-printed at the same time, I think the entire world of linguistic scholarship would be grateful.

    Philip Taylor

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    Replies
    1. That would be like a wonderful dream. One of the best experiences of my life was finding that book in the University Library of the small "rural city" of Pécs (which amounted to a miracle), and reading it when I was 19. Later I often remarked that you cannot open your mouth to talk about linguistics without using a word that was intruduced by Professor Wells in that book.

      Delete
  13. Sad news, but on the bright side, I'll finally get round to reading the whole thing from the beginning, comments included.

    Also, I look forward to your uploading the recordings that accompanied Accents of English.

    - Andrej Bjelaković

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  14. So long, and thanks for all the fish!

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  15. Slán leat, John, agus go raibh maith agat. Your archives will be a great resource for years to come.

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  16. I know that good things don't last forever.
    But I've never thought the final day would come so early...

    Hopefully this has nothing to do with Prof.Wells' health.

    Thank you very much indeed for all the hard work with incredibly rich contents!

    arigato gozai mashita!

    Y Shoji

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  17. I understand that you might have your reasons you don't want to share with us, but ... how can you be so sure nothing new/remarkable/woth-commenting, yea, even upsetting comes your way?

    The discontinuing of this blog is very very sad news... But thank you so much, Professor Wells, for keeping it up for so many years! And keep well.

    Full true name --- see Google Profile

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  18. Ah, and the 'regular', neutral-to-formal counterpart of 'goodbye' in Polish is 'do widzenia'. 'Cześć' is familiar-colloquial-informal.


    Full true name --- see Google Profile

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  19. I shall miss your blog a lot!
    All my best wishes

    Martin

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  20. Many thanks for your enjoyable and stimulating blog-entries over the years, John. I suspect we shall all suffer withdrawal symptoms.

    I do wonder if a new home for our ramblings might be found—is there anyone who could institute a new phonetics blog where comments would be open, as here, to experts and laymen alike?

    Steve

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    Replies
    1. yeah, that would be good, but not a bit 'impious' towards John? Especially (talking about it) already now, when he has not yet quite 'left us' poor shepherdless sheep? (Should be someone of phonetic stature and authority, thus certainly not me/I.)


      Full true name --- see Google Profile

      Delete
  21. It was a pleasure reading your blog, and I am sorry that you have decided to discontinue it. Anyway, ĝis releĝo! Ronald

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  22. Goodbye, and many thanks for everything, John!

    There may be other phonetics blogs, but I've always found your topics especially interesting, John. I've learned quite a bit here, and I've met people who were either like-minded, or who agreed on what was important enough to disagree over.

    So it's goodbye also to quite a few virtual friends and acquaintances. It seems unlikely that we'll all find ourselves together again on another forum. But I hope to meet some again.

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    1. I agree. After a while, I started to recognise the same names on the blog, and then remembered where everyone was from, what their native language/dialect was, the subjects they liked to discuss most, etc. It's a shame to end this long-running conversation, as I've enjoyed it whilst it's lasted.

      Maybe we should all invade Kraut's blog :)

      Delete
  23.     

      

          

     

    (A Tengwar font might be needed to display this correctly.)

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  24. I am duly crushed, and the community will be scattered.

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  25. Thanks ever so much, John. This blog's been an infallible source of edification and enjoyment.
    Best wishes
    Jonathan

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    Replies
    1. 'This blog's been an infallible source'

      well, not without a reason has Prof. Wells counted, and continues to count, as the _Pope_ of the English (and global) phonetics...

      Full name --- see Profile

      Delete
  26. Thank you, John. From one of the usually silent majority.

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  27. Best wishes! It has been a pleasure reading!

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  28. As someone who has been reading your blog for years now, though I've never commented, I've appreciated all the insights that you've shared. Thank you and good luck in the future!

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  29. Thank you for all the posts and discussion. I have learned much from this blog, and I am saddened today. However, I wish you well in your future endeavors, and I hope (as many have said) that you will pop in from time to time when something new or interesting comes your way!

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  30. Really sorry to see your blog go. It has been very popular here: http://speech-language-therapy.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=108 and greatly appreciated.

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  31. No thanks will ever be enough for decades of stimulating teaching and rigorous scholarship. I hope everything's fine and we keep hearing from you.

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  32. Sorry to hear this, Professor Wells. I've been following you online since I was in your graduate classes at UCL in 1999-2000. If you pop up on the Web again, please let the larger community know!

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  33. I'd just like to add that finding a new topic every day, and actually writing about it every day, was an incredible feat in full health. To continue, three times a week, after a stroke, was even more incredible. Most of us would be baulked by one deadline 6 months away, but facing the stress of a never-ending stream of deadlines ...

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  34. Wow. I will miss you. Thanks for everything.


    -Julie Ann Maahs

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  35. Many, many thanks for all the pleasure and learning this blog has given me.

    Sounds excessive, but altho' it may not have changed my life, it has certainly changed parts of it.

    Luke Seaber

    Never commented but once, and that anonymously.

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    Replies
    1. And as I meant to add:

      We shall not look upon its like again.

      Delete
  36. Dear Prof. Wells,

    I have always loved your books, and it has been wonderful to be able to interact with you on your blog. All the best for your very well earned post-blog retirement!

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  37. I've learned so much from your blog over the year, Professor Wells, especially as a native speaker of GA; if it weren't for you, I might still think RP was just a non-rhotic version of my own dialect. A heartfelt thanks to you for the effort you've put into this endeavor; it has gone to a good end.

    Sincerely,

    James Truitt

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  38. Masaki said:
    I've tried to upload the following comment in your blog, but somehow could not.
    "ありがとうございます。Thank you so very much. With sincerest gratitude, Masaki Taniguchi 谷口雅基"

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  39. So sorry to see this end. I've really enjoyed your posts over the past few years.
    All the best.

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  40. Thanks a million Professor Wells.
    It's been enlightening and inspiring to read your blog.
    Hope the gratitude and admiration of your readers made your time worthwhile.

    Wishing you all the best.

    Z serdecznymi pozdrowieniami,

    A. Konstancja Wiszniewska

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  41. Thank you for everything, Mr Wells. And let us hope you will enjoy your free time.

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  42. Bedaurinde! I doubt that you ran out of things to say, but we all can appreciate what a chore educating us over the years it must have been for you. Do please keep a place where we can find your contributions to the discipline and other musings for us to enjoy. Best of luck in all of your future endeavors. -Jon (BTW, I was a Esperanto student of yours in San Francisco in 1984, a great memory; I went on to get a PhD in Linguistics from Berkeley)

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  43. Reading this blog has been an education. It will be missed.

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  44. Sad to hear this, but thank you for everything! It's been great pleasure!

    All the best wishes,

    J Weckwerth

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  45. Many thanks, John. I'll miss it too.

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  46. Thank you, John, for keeping us engaged for so long. Take care and God bless you. Your blog will be missed!

    Peter in Singapore

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  47. Dear Professor,

    please reconsider your decision and at least keep writing on everything phonetic and linguistic. The absence of your enlightening phonetic tips will be terribly missed by the whole Internet community and beyond.

    If you nevertheless quit, I would like to offer my warm thanks for your help in phonetic matters.

    Peter in Poland

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  48. Many thanks on an enlightening blog - I hope some other phonetician is inspired to pick up your baton.

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  49. Thank you for sharing your extensive expertise. I just hope this means you won't write as regularly and as often as you have so far and not that you won't write at all...

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  50. John,

    I feel like we've gotten to know you a little through your blog; your humour, your generous spirit, your inventive and prodigious mind. I've been so thankful that you've gotten to know more about the voice/speech trainer community by participating in the vastavox listserv. Hope you'll keep that up. I have learned so much from you and your work. Thanks ever so much. I am certain that you could blog occasionally, whenever it struck you, once a month, once every six months, and we'd probably still catch it! (Though once Google Reader disappears, maybe this will be less likely...)

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    Replies
    1. Feedly is a reasonable substitute: it currently is a front end over GR, but is now developing its own back end. I recommend it.

      Delete
  51. Ave atque vale! θæŋk ju fɔɚ jɔɚ wʌndɚfɫ̩ blɑːɡ | ɪt ænd ju wɪɫ bi mʌʧ mɪst ‖

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  52. Thank you for your blog, Professor Wells. Thank you for your books, your contributions, your rigor, your wit, your insight and your curiosity. We all owe you a great debt.

    Sincerely,
    Erik Singer

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  53. Aww, too bad, just saw this. But of course I understand the reason. Thank you, dear Professor, for this blog and everything else.

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  54. Thanks very very much for everything. An education, and a treat.

    Jim Shapiro
    Admiring lurker no. 1018
    Chicago

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  55. I have made the following edit in order to try and ameliorate the problem you have pointed out:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mfecane&diff=552453535&oldid=551196742

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    Replies
    1. I've moved the comma to after the note, if you don't mind :)

      Delete
  56. Oh, NO! I just heard about you and your site and was prepared to get on with you. I never knew you'd stopped blogging. It saddens my African heart sore. Could you please just spend some more years, sir. Please come back, please do.
    I'm here for the first time. Heard of you from Alex's phonetic blog. *sad*

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  57. I can't believe it's been over four months since John's blog ended. Nothing much to say, except I still miss reading it.

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  58. I can't believe it's been over four months since John's blog ended. Nothing much to say, except I still miss reading it.

    Let me just second that.

    I stayed away, because I wasn't able to comment once the "name/URL" option was permanently switched off. Now I'm forced to have a Google account for other reasons, so I show up here, and...

    I shall duly invade Kraut's blog.

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  59. Hi everybody! I have something for John to answer, which surely raises his interest a lot: Guf Arabic vowel allophones; Now matter how much I browse everyone, simply there's no researcher's clarifying data anywhere, so anyone interested, it'd be a fantastic issue to discuss about.

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  60. thanks a million professor. as a translator,It was very useful for me. I really enjoyed it. I felt sorry when it ended.
    my homepage:otomatik kapılar

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  61. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  62. Damn, it's been over a year now. Still missing it!

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