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Re: Allophone Problem

From:David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>
Date:Saturday, June 9, 2007, 23:58
Philip wrote:
Did the two split? Or merely fail to merge?

I ask because a number of things which sounds the same to me are
separate in other dialects, it seems, but because of a failure to
merge rather than a split -- for example, wait/weight, or (IIRC)

Regarding "meet" and "meat".  That's the thing with these near
mergers: in order for them to be a *near* merge, they have to
have, in fact, not merged at all.  That is the claim with "meat" and
"meet": they did not merge (in this particular dialect).  What
makes it peculiar, though, is that everyone thought they had,
and native speakers would claim that the two rhymed, but,
nevertheless, speakers heard, and then reproduced, a consistent
though slight difference between the two, and then, later on,
they built on the difference, and the two became more distinct
than they had been in previous years.

"sunly eleSkarez ygralleryf ydZZixelje je ox2mejze."
"No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn."

-Jim Morrison