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Re: Allophone Problem

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 6, 2007, 12:13
Clearly /e/ and /i/ are separate phonemes in complementary
distribution, just like English /h/ and /N/.  You can postulate a
different underlying representation of the vowel+coda complex that
manifests a single distinction in two different ways (same vowel but
different consonant in one case, different vowel with same consonant
in another), but at the phonemic level, I don't see any way to merge
/e/ and /i/.

On 6/6/07, Daniel Prohaska <danielprohaska@...> wrote:
> -----Original Message----- > From: Joseph Fatula > Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2007 11:51 AM > "I'm having a problem analyzing the phonemes of a language. The sound [e] > only appears before voiceless consonants, while [i] can appear in any other > environment. This leads me to think that they're allophones of each other, > except for the following problem. Voiceless fricatives become voiced > between vowels, yet the [e] in such cases remains unchanged: > > > > - [nef] > [neva] > > - [niv] > [niva] > > > > Among words with the "-a" suffix, this [e] vs. [i] distinction is the only > thing showing the difference between words like [neva] and [niva]. Are > these minimal pairs? Are [e] and [i] separate phonemes?" > > --------------------------------------------------- > > As a nitpicker I would say, the question would be: "Is this a minimal pair > (sg.)?" > > If [neva] and [niva] have separate meanings distinguished by the contrast > [e] ~ [i] alone, then yes, this is a minimal pair and yes, [e] and [i] are > distinct phonemes (at least in this particular environement). > > Dan > > >
-- Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>