Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Allophone Problem

From:David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 6, 2007, 10:08
Joseph wrote:
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?

Based just on what you told us, I'd say that /e/ and /i/ are
separate phonemes, and that the voiceless phenomenon you
witnessed is simply an accident.

Of course, we've only seen two pieces of data...

"A male love inevivi i'ala'i oku i ue pokulu'ume o heki a."
"No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn."

-Jim Morrison


Joseph Fatula <joefatula@...>