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Re: USAGE: Thorn vs Eth

From:Tony HydraulicOrganismGeneratedforAccurateRepair,Destruction <james.hogard@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 9, 2002, 13:14
Christophe Grandsire:

> Well, the simple fact that there isn't any minimal pair between /T/ > and /D/, > and that words with /D/ are rare compared with words with /T/, make > indeed > their phonemic status a bit unsteady :)) . I think they are > considered phonemic > only because despite those facts the great majority of English > speakers still > clearly distinguish them (i.e. you won't hear somebody saying [T]ere > for "there"), and can distinguish them in artificial situations > where they are > put to contrast. The speaker's recognition is an important argument > in favour > of phonemicity, at least as important as the presence of minimal > pairs (and > often more important).
I've got <ether> /T/ vs. <either> /D/, but that's the only pair that comes to mind. For me, the two are always distinguished. -Tone


Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>