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
> - [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:
except before voiceless consonants:
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.