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Re: Allophone Problem

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Saturday, June 9, 2007, 13:16
Quoting John Vertical <johnvertical@...>:

> Roger Mills wrote: > >This is the old Bi-uniqueness Problem of classical Phonemics: 1) given a > >phonemic form, the phonetic form must be predictable, and 2) given a > >phonetic form, the phonemic form must be predictable. Thus the problem with > >e.g. German [bUnt] =? bunt 'colored' or Bund 'association'; and oddities > >like Engl. house ~houses [haUz@z], vs. most (all?) other words with a /-s/ > >that doesn't voice in the plural. > > I actually recall reading that the final devoicing of stops in German is only > a > near-merger - that there's some slight phonetic cue that's basically > impossible > to hear, but appears regularly when recordings are examined rigorously. A > similar scenario might apply here, too. Frex the [v] in [niva] might be > slightly > palatalized in comparision to [neva], and we could then declare that > there's /v/ = [v v_j], and /f/ = [f v]. [v] would however still be the > realization > of two different phonemes then. (Andreas just posted last week about a > similar issue in Swedish, and suggested preferring to consider the same > phones > also the same phonemes.)
I do not think the issue of 'light sj' in my 'lect is particularly comparable; here we have genuine [f]~[v] alternation in stems - the lack of [x]~[S] alternation is one of the two principal reasons I would suggest rejecting the identification of light and dark sj as the same phoneme (the other being the acoustic identity and complimentary distribution of light sj with tj (aka /s\/)). Andreas