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Re: more English orthography

From:Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Date:Thursday, May 18, 2000, 3:23
On Wed, 17 May 2000 19:52:13 -0400, Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...> wrote:

>Some kinds it can handle pretty well, like when German collapses /d/ and >/t/ into [t] word-finally, it could be considered a case of the phoneme >/d/ becoming /t/. But, of course, in cases like Japanese /d/ and /z/, >which become /dz/ (NOT /dZ/) before /u/ it fails.
An interesting English example (which works in my dialect, and perhaps other American dialects) is what happens with the words "writer" and "rider". The distinction between /t/ and /d/ is neutralized, but the effect on the length and quality of the /ai/ vowel remains! The vowel of "writer" is shorter, and a bit more centralized, than the vowel of "rider". (Slightly exaggerated for illustration: ['r\6i4@`] vs. ['r\A:i4@`].) Tirelat has an interesting case: the letter "y" often represents a palatalization of the preceding consonant, and also often affects the pronunciation of the following vowel. I *could* certainly consider sounds like "hy" [C] and "ky" [c] as distinct phonemes, but it would seem to be more efficient if "y" is allowed to be a phoneme. An extreme case is represented by the word "hwyuhwyu" ['H_0yH_0y] ("the sound of whistling"). Does it make sense to include the phoneme "hwy" [H_0] for the sake of a single word? It's a sound that occurs nowhere else in the language, but there are no minimal pairs. It would be nice to consider "y" as a phoneme that is realized in some cases as a combination of consonant palatalization and/or vowel fronting. That would certainly simplify the description of the phonology, if I ever have the inclination to formalize it. -- languages of Azir------> ----<>--- h i l r i . o "If all Printers were determin'd not to print any m l e @ o c m thing till they were sure it would offend no body, (Herman Miller) there would be very little printed." -Ben Franklin