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Re: USAGE: English [N] (was: mu for [N])

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Sunday, January 23, 2005, 15:36
Quoting Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>:

> On Saturday, January 22, 2005, at 07:24 , Philip Newton wrote: > > > On Fri, 21 Jan 2005 18:48:33 +0000, Ray Brown <ray.brown@...> > > wrote: > >> not all varieties of English have phonemic /N/; > > > > Eh? There are varieties where "bang" and "ban" are homophonic? > > Where did I say that!! > > In those dialects _bang_ is pronounced [baNg], which in (those dialects) > is *phonemically* /bang/. Nor is this a spelling pronunciation; it is just > the older pronunciation which has given way to [baN] or [b&N] in most > modern dialects, including mine.
I've met speakers who unvoice that final stop, giving thinks like [sINg_0]. I suppose this is the origin of the use of spellings like "sumfink" in written representations of non-standard speech.
> Yes, that's how I say it also. The phonemic status of [N] in English is > one of those things that phonologists like to argue about (see above). It > has, for example, been pointed out more than once that [N] and [h] are in > complementary distribution (at least in RP), so should that not mean, > according to the phoneme theory, they are positional variants of the same > phoneme?
It would seem to give raise to problems with words like "behave" vs such like "singer", unless one were to posit a /./ phoneme. Or perhaps one could argue that [N] is the realization of an ambisyllabic /h/? Andreas