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Re: Allophone Problem

From:Joseph Fatula <joefatula@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 6, 2007, 10:17
David J. Peterson wrote:
> 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... >
I could give you quite a bit of data on this one, but it all follows pretty much the same pattern. - [tes] > [teza] - [tiz] > [tiza] - [kef] > [kiva] - [kev] > [keva] In any environment [i] is allowed: - [tiz] - [gri] - [rin] - [iv] except before voiceless consonants: - [brek] - [mes] - [ef] You could make up as many of these as you need, since these rules seem to apply across the board. The distribution of [e] and [i] is entirely predictable and mutually exclusive except before word-final fricatives once a suffix has been added making them intervocalic.


Joseph Fatula <joefatula@...>