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Re: Allophone Problem

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Monday, June 11, 2007, 11:21
Quoting "T. A. McLeay" <conlang@...>:

> Henrik Theiling wrote: > ... > >> Well, that's exactly the thing, though. They ran experiments > >> with people just like you who never doubted that the words > >> were identical, and they consistently were able to spot which > >> one ended in a voiced consonant and which one a voiceless > >> (they tested the results statistically, and all that). > > > > Interesting. It is a bit puzzling, though. How can the speech center > > produce different phones when for the rest of the brain, they are > > identical? I could imagine the reverse case, when the human is sure > > there is a difference when there really is none in the audio data, but > > the other way around contradicts my intuition. > > > > I think I will have a read some papers then. > > I gather that in some dialects of Swedish, there are two kinds of /e/ > which never merged, but merged in the standard varieties, so the > orthography doesn’t distinguish them. Phonetically I think they’re > fairly distinct (not like these near merges that miss), and the > distinction is quite consistent, but native speakers consider them to be > the same. > > Perhaps one of our Swedish listmembers can provide more detail on that, > at least..?
I assume you're talking about /e/ and /E/, the short froms of which have merged as [E] in the standard 'lects. They're more-or-less consistently kept apart in writing as <e> vs. <ä>. Some dialects keep them distinct also in pronunciation, but apparently some speakers of such dialects nonetheless claim to merge them. You also get the opposite; people who claim to pronounce them differently yet can't tell their own recored pronunciations of pairs like _sett_~_sätt_ apart. * The long versions merge as [e:] in some 'lects, but this is considered nonstandard. Andreas (I'm having trouble posting this. Sorry for any multiple posts.)


Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>