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Re: English notation (conclusion?)

From:Muke Tever <alrivera@...>
Date:Saturday, June 30, 2001, 1:47
From: "Christian Thalmann" <cinga@...>
> The fact remains that while the <i> in <ing> may indeed be *phonetically > realized* as an /i/, it is clearly an allophone of the *phoneme* known > as "short i", and therefore should be transcribed as <i> rather than > <ee> in any phonemic transliteration.
Why is it 'clearly' so? I've discovered that I hear the vowel as "long e" even when "short i" is used--indeed, I went to a recording and found my own vowel is closer to [I] than I thought. I informally polled three people, and asked them whether the vowel in "sing" was the same as the vowel in "bit" or the vowel in "machine". ['machine' so that the spelling of the vowel wouldn't influence them as, say, 'beet' would.] The first two said 'machine', and the third said 'machine' also, but then changed her answer to 'bit' (and demonstrated by pronouncing both 'bit' and 'sing' together, trying rather uncertainly to pronounce the same vowel in both). When I explained to them afterwards what the question was for, they tried saying [iN] by itself. They all agreed that it sounded like a "Spanish accent". Anyway, if they *think* it's /i/ and don't *say* [i], isn't that more likely that /i/ is the phoneme (for them, in any case?) Isn't that what phonemes are for? *Muke! [My vote, actually, is that <ing> is *one* phoneme--a magic syllabic nasal--and gets its own transcription in any phonemic transliteration.] ;)