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English VL, was Ygde

From:Shreyas Sampat <ssampat@...>
Date:Thursday, April 17, 2003, 15:04
> I'm not sure that this tense/lax distinction is phonemic in > English - to be honest, I don't quite understand what the > distinction is, which makes me suspect that it isn't an > important one in my native language. However, there's > definitely a long/short contrast between reed [ri:d] and rid > [rid], which I think is a more important contrast in English. > However, I'm beginning to suspect that there's a tendency for > length contrasts in English to correlate with other > contrasts, cf the contrast between [&] and [a:].
In my dialect, tense vowels are universally longer than lax, and short vowels are slightly lengthened before voiced consonants. So there's a three-way phoneTic length pattern: seed /si:d/ Sid /sI;d/ seat /si:t/ sit /sIt/ So IMD, the length contrast is in fact nonphonemic; it follows from other contrasts. --- Shreyas