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Re: USAGE: Stress in English

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Thursday, February 26, 2004, 13:01
From:    Shreyas Sampat <shreyas@...>
> I interpret "phonemic" to mean not only providing distinction, but also, > crucially, unpredictable. Here there's a systematic alternation; that > doesn't do any work to prove phonemicity in this sense. If you were to > have two nouns /'pr=mIt/ and /pr='mIt/, then I'd be persuaded.
The point is that from the vantage point of the phonology, it *isn't* predictable. You simply have to know something about which lexical category it belongs to before you start trying to predict anything. What's more the alternation you refer is one only a small minority of verbs take part in. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637