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Re: phonemes (was: 'noun' and 'adjective')

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Sunday, March 5, 2006, 11:43
Quoting R A Brown <ray@...>:

> Andreas Johansson wrote: > > Quoting "Mark J. Reed" <markjreed@...>: > > > > > > > >>Also, the idea that there are phoneticians who dispute the very > >>existence of phonemes blows my mind. :) > > > > > > Our very own And Rosta is one of them, unless he's changed opinion without > > telling me. > > Well, they don't exist, do they? As I understand it, they are strictly > language-dependent abstractions. While the phoneme theory is quite > useful in describing the way sounds are related in an individual > language they by no means IMO tell the whole story.
Well, that's getting philosophical - what does it mean for something like a phoneme to exist? The specific point I recall him making was that for some languages, the phoneme is not a useful unit of analysis. But I shan't continue trying to explain the reasoning of someone much deeper into the subject than me from imperfect recollections. Andreas