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Phonetics vs. Phonemics (was: apparently bizarre 'A's)

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Thursday, February 23, 2006, 13:59
>As to phonetic symbology, you're right that I overstated the >precision. Each symbol covers a spectrum of similar sounds. But the >difference between phonetics and phonemics is that in the latter case >the sounds represented by a single symbol are identified by their >equivalence within a given language, and need not even be phonetically >similar at all.
>Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
That reminds me - what's the most different allophones of a single phoneme you know of (either qualitively or quantitively)? The /r/-variants from [r] to [r\`] or [R] is a good try, obviously, but are there any other similar cases? Like a vowel-poor language having /u/ in free variation from [u] all the way down to [Q]? Or having only one POA-harmonizing nasal phoneme? (I've seen that last one in a conlang somewhere, but not really in natlangs... note that lone /n/ plus prenasalized stops isn't quite the same.) (I think it's been suggested that English /h/ and /N/ would be the same phoneme, but that's a little too far IMO.) John Vertical


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>