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Re: more English orthography

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Thursday, May 18, 2000, 4:47
Marcus Smith wrote:
> 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.
Historically, yes, but from a *synchronic* perspective, they are distinct phonemes. Indeed, with new borrowings, forms like /ti/ (e.g., tiimu) and /tSe/ (e.g., cheen) are possible, seeming to indicate that they have ceased to be analyzed as /tj/, etc.
> In otherwords, the "phonemes" S, tS, dZ are palatalized obstruents. Assuming > this analysis, the match with what is actually found is perfect.
That's one way to analyze it, altho it breaks down with more recent borrowings, but borrowings can occasionally violate the regular phonology of a language. However, I prefer to view /S/ and /s/ as separate phonemes, which were *historically* the same phoneme. /S/ and /s/ are both single units, one does not say */Sj/, so it makes no sense to call something that is obviously a single phone *two* phones. You could say that in native words, /S/ is *underlyingly* /sj/, but in terms of surface phonemes, it is not. -- "If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God!" - Ralph Waldo Emerson "Glassín wafilái pigasyúv táv pifyániivav nadusakyáavav sussyáiyatantu wawailáv ku suslawayástantu ku usfunufilpyasváditanva wafpatilikániv wafluwáiv suttakíi wakinakatáli tiDikáufli!" - nLáf mÁldu nÍmasun ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor