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Re: USAGE: Stress in English

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Thursday, February 26, 2004, 13:05
On Wed, Feb 25, 2004 at 07:41:24PM -0500, Shreyas Sampat wrote:
> 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.
But what's systematic about it? Other noun/verb pairs don't do that; "ticket" /'tI.k@t/, "billet" /'bI.l@t/, "filet" /f@'lej/ or /'fI.l@t/ = all have the same pronunciation whether verb or noun. A single instance does not a system make. Nor is it predictable; without already knowing the answer, you would not be able to predict the verb pronunciation from the noun, or vice versa. -Mark