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?Naro cel ei nau cepoa sia? ['naru,gil enQ,gibua'Za]

From:Shreyas Sampat <ssampat@...>
Date:Sunday, January 12, 2003, 18:39
> Yes, the letter |t| represents the phoneme /t/, and |tt| is > simply that phoneme twice /tt/. In a medial position, the > difference is > obvious: |ata| [a.da] vs. |atta| [at.ta]. In the initial > position, they both sound the same: |ta| [ta], |tta| [ta], > but phrasal medialisation can make the difference audible > again: |o ta| [u.da], > |o tta| [ut.ta]. In final position, |tt| is not allowed. > > I guess it would also be valid from a linguistic point of > view to define |t| and |tt| as a phoneme each, but that's not > the way the Tao Ttouans see it. ;-)
On the other side of the sword, I disagree that they behave like distinct phonemes, based on my loose understanding of the idea of phoneme. My grounds: Taot Toua and Tao Ttoua both result in |tt| behavior, regardless of morpheme/syllable boundaries. This suggests to me that |tt| is a cluster, rather than a phoneme in its own right. Were it phonemic, I'd expect to find a distinction between the two pronunciations (maybe [taut.toa] vs. [tau.toa]). Compare English "guano" /b&t.SIt/ vs. */b&tS)It/. Forgive me for being non-rigorous, as usual. --- Shreyas Sampat