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Re: more English orthography

From:Marcus Smith <smithma@...>
Date:Thursday, May 18, 2000, 2:37
At 5/17/00 07:52 PM -0400, you wrote:

>> also [tSa] occurs IIRC. > >/tS/ and /dZ/ can occur before any vowel except /e/, and are therefore >phonemes, since a contrast can exist between /ta/ and /tSa/, for >instance. Looking in my Japanese-English dictionary, I found a minimal >pair quite quickly - cha ("tea") and ta ("rice field")
This gap should make you suspicious. Another thing that should make you suspicious it that only the alveolar obstruents cannot be palatalized. Why not and is there a connection? Absolutely! Palatalization may only occur before the vowel /a, o, u/, not before /e, i/. You can have, for example, kya, kyo, kyu but not *kye, *kyi. Alveolar obstruents are palatalized before /i/: s -> S, t -> tS, z -> dZ, d -> dZ before /i/. The reason is an obvious assimilation. So check out the correspondance. kya sya [Sa] zya [dZa] tya [tSa] dya [dZa] kyo syo [So] zyo [dZo] tyo [tSo] dyo [dZo] kyu syu [Su] zyu [dZu] tyu [tSu] dyu [dZu] *kye *sye [Se] *zye [dZe] *tye [tSe] *dye [dZe] *kyi *syi [Si] *zyi [dZi] *tyi [tSi] *dyi [dZi] In otherwords, the "phonemes" S, tS, dZ are palatalized obstruents. Assuming this analysis, the match with what is actually found is perfect. Marcus