Re: THEORY: Voiceless vowels [was Re: Missing Parts]
|From:||Marcus Smith <smithma@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, June 29, 2002, 20:52|
On Sat, 29 Jun 2002, Nik Taylor wrote:
> also, the devoicing is optional. As I understand it, _su_ in such cases
> is often pronounced actually as a sort of moraic /s/, such that _desu_
> is something like [des=]
Yup. More interesting words are those like _sushi_. The pronunciation of
the vowels in this word is very free: either can be voiceless, both can be
voiceless, or both can be voiced.
In my very first phonology class (years ago now), the professor made a
cryptic comment that there is evidence that voicelessness in Japanese
vowels is becoming phonemic. I don't know what this evidence is though.