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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. Marcus


Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>