I know some foreign people will pronounce an English word very differently or otherwise in a way that it can be mistaken for another word or not be known what was said. Is there a phonic symbol type language that can basically eliminate dialects and accents by being super specific about what sound one is expected to make?
We can only produce sounds that our speech organs allow us to produce. Therefore, yes, there is a limited number of sounds one can produce. That's why a fifty-five-year-old male cannot quite produce sounds typical of a five-year-old girl (his vocal cords simply prevent him from doing so).
The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) includes symbols for almost all known human languages. The most detailed and specific set of the IPA can discriminate between accents, even idolects. However, even more specific transcriptions can be accomplished thanks to sound-spectographs.
No. Human vocal organs are so complex that it is not possible to list all combinations. If you hear how people sing, all variants they use in singing are the variants that can be counted as a voice. Only to think that the shape of the air path from lungs to nose and mouth is continuous and very flexible is enough to understand that no classification is possible. Human vocal organs are not an instrument; they can take a form of many different instruments.
I know some foreign people will pronounce an English word very differently or otherwise in a way that it can be mistaken for another word or not be known what was said.
You are right, I think the same. And it is in my experience very so. I would love to say that only for foreign people, at least that would be far more understandable, but that is not so. Domestics are not different either.
Is there a phonic symbol type language that can basically eliminate dialects and accents by being super specific about what sound one is expected to make?
As many voices human organ can produce, there are only around 250 world languages and each with usually limited range of sounds produced (however large that could be). What is found is that there are the typical groups of sounds based on how sounds are produced in all existing and analyzed languages. Nobody claim that there are not other possible ways and that a new tribe will not emerge with its specific way of talking. But so far scientists are capable to well-define the predominant way of how human vocal organs are used during a speech with all nuisances that come with it.
However, regarding English, though there are rules and the suggested way of pronunciation, which includes variants (I know at list three ways to pronounce associate, all correct), some people tend to speak unknown or more complex words the way they think is the most correct. It is common to hear it around that I think it is some kind of a specific freedom in English. Of course, most of the people will speak normally, but if someone says something differently it looks to me that people around will get it not as being completely wrong but as a sign of some kind of creativity, as long as even that new variant conforms some pronunciation rules, of course.
I think that this is the chief reason why English cannot survive any new writing regulation. But, on the other hand, it gives to the language the ability to develop faster which is, I think, one of the reasons why English dominates.
I don't know if you have ever heard about " The Internationat Phonetic Alphabet". This chart includes what phoneticians believe to represent sounds in all languages.Clearly human beings can produce many sounds than these inculded in the chart, but I think it's very useful to have look at it and study it.
I agree with you when you say that the IPA is very helpful and should be studied. Of course there are ways of 'describing' the sounds produced by humans even more in detail, but this is rarely necessary if your aim is to investigate differencies between various languages and accents of a language.
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