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YAEPT: apparently bizarre semivowels

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Thursday, February 23, 2006, 19:00
> > I agree that it's safe to say that /r/ is a semi-vowel corresponding >with > > /3/. > >Nope. First of all, /r/ can mean too many things, so let's stick to >phonetics. The sound [r] isn't a semivowel - although as a trill, I >suppose [r] can be syllabic (anyone know of any examples of >that?). The approximant [r\] is a semivowel, but the corresponding >full vowel isn't [3], it's [r\=].
I'm talking about the _English_ phonemes, if I didn't make myself clear the first time. [r] has naturally nothing to do with [3]. I admit that this analysis widens the chasm between phonemic and phonetic structure of English (/3/ varying from [r\=] to [@r\] to [3`] to [3:] to...) but it adds symmetry - no more of that "assorted vowels may not occur before r" stuff, and rhotic vs. non-rhotic becomes just a question of the realization of /3/-final difthongs. Let's see, this gives the following vowel phonemes... lax /I E & V Q U/ i-final difthongs /i: ei ai oi/ u-final dfT. /iu au ou u:/ (/iu/ unexpectedly being rising) 3-final dfT. /i3 e3 a3 3: o3 u3/ long monofT.s & trifT.s /A: O: iu3 / (in some 'lects also /au3 ai3/) ...Well, still asymmetric. Analyzing "ew" into /eu/ would help, but sadly even /iu/ is a stretch already. <yak wack rack> /j&k w&k r&k/ <soy sow sore> /soi sou so3/ John Vertical