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#3787: On the spelling of "youn" - Lamour replies to a question


dear michael,

please do understand that in haitian creole each grapheme has
a distinct phonological value which remains pretty much
the same regardless of its position within a syllable or a word...
instead of varying their values, haitian graphemes when blended
tend to produce linguistic assimilations...

the grapheme 'o' you are referred to, for example,
holds the same phonological value in each of the following
words: bonè, lonè, oto, poto, [tèt] kokolo... moreover, it does not exist
in the word 'yon' you mentioned in your post...

unlike the english language, haitian creole does not feature
linguistic phenomenons such as long 'o' and short 'o'...

indeed, in on, ou, oun, yon, you, and youn the 
grapheme 'o' is not phonologically present... do not think of
'on' as being the sum of 'o + n'... ''on' is a fulfledged grapheme
just as 'o', although it is made of two letters which include 'o'...

graphemes are made of one, two or more letters.... examples
of one letter graphemes are a, e, n, o...
examples of two letter graphemes are an, en, ch, ng, on, ui...
an example of three letter grapheme is oun...

the interesting thing about graphemes is that the letters which
constitute their morphological structures have nothing to do with
their phonological nature... simply put, in the three letter grapheme
'oun', neither 'o', 'u', nor 'n' are pronounced; they are not individually 
nor do the sound they produce together is the sum of them all... 'oun' is the
distinct sound found in words like 'oungan', 'kandjanwoun', vodoun...
(most if not all haitian creole speakers would know the correct 
pronounciation of
the those three words...)

i must also try to clarify one obvious mistake many make when they
confuse the single grapheme 'oun' (oungan) and the two syllables 'oun' 
the words oungan, kandjanwoun, and vodoun clearly feature the grapheme
'oun', whereas in moun, bouboun / chouchoun / koukoun, gwo zouzoun,
founa (female nickname) each time it is the respective syllables 'ou' and 'n'
that are operative...

another point i'd like to make while on this subject is that the two form 
prounoun yonn and youn (ban m yonn or ban m youn) follow nearly about the
same regional rule mentioned in the previous post about the indefinite
article (on, ou, oun, yon, you, youn)... identify where the speaker grew up
in haiti, and you will find out which one he tends to use... nevertheless,
'youn' the indefinite article made of 'y' + the grapheme 'oun' should be 
from 'youn' the indefine pronoun made of 'y' + the syllables 'ou' and 'n'...

michael, please remember from the point of you haitian creole, long and short
vowels make very little sense for the reason lingistic reasons i evoked in 
email... i hope i have been helpful... thanks for asking...

warmest regards,