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Re: USAGE: Thorn vs Eth

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 9, 2002, 11:57
En réponse à Tristan McLeay <kesuari@...>:

> > Or else, the IPA makers would have had a very warped mind to use edh > to mark > > the sound of the voiced th ([D] in X-SAMPA) in IPA! > > > > Too bad for the "easy to figure it out" ;)))) . > > Bah, the voiced and voicelessness of 'th's is all a sham. (Linguists > have a lot too answer for.) I blame the French for that, they never > had > any words with /D/ for us to borrow to make /T/ and /D/ better and > distinguishing between themselves for us English speakers.
Hehe, you were the ones who introduced those strange letters! Why did you do it at the first place anyway ;)))) . I'll call
> them halfphonemes, so I can get the cluster 'fph',
LOL Do you want to become a Maggel writer? ;))) but also because
> saying /T@/ for /D@/ sounds merely mildly wrong, unlike saying /zup/ > for > /su:p/, which sounds like my grandfather ('Ah, that's hexcellent > zup!', > he said of Oma's soup often enough. The Dutch wouldn't normally have > any > reason to put a /h/ before a vowel, would they?).
Nope. He's probably just weird :))) (even with /zup/, the word is |soep| /sup/ in Dutch!!!). Hmm... at any rate,
> thorn is for thorn. <--- That paragraph is mostly humour. The > seriousness of it is only in that bit about my grandfather (Dutch, > from > Zeeland I believe) putting a /h/ before 'excellent'. I've seen some > argument somewhere about /T/ and /D/ not being properly phonemic. >
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). Christophe. Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.


Tristan McLeay <kesuari@...>
John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>