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Phonemes (was Re: [i:]=[ij]?)

From:jesse stephen bangs <jaspax@...>
Date:Monday, November 6, 2000, 19:59
dirk elzinga sikayal:

> Hey. > > Interesting that in the discussion on pedagogical methodology this > provocative statement of John's slipped by without comment ... > > > In particular, the phoneme may be dead [...] > > Dirk (who, BTW, agrees with this sentiment)
You shouldn't have baited me <evil grin>. I let it go the first time because I was looking forward to my weekend and didn't feel like responding, but . . . I doubt that the phoneme is dead, it's just been disguised a little. The old, structuralist requirements of biuniqueness and minimal pairs have, of course, been abandoned, but the idea of a "phoneme" as a unit of language information still exists. Even in the most radical generative approaches to language, there is still a finite set of underlying symbols to be acted on: phonemes, but more abstract ones. I don't know if there's a term for it, but it does seem that there needs to be a way to distinguish the classical phoneme from the generative phoneme. One is the phonetic information relevant to the speaker's comprehension, and the other is the underlying unit from which the surface phonetics are decided. Jesse S. Bangs (wondering now about the psychological reality idea . . . .) "It is of the new things that men tire--of fashions and proposals and improvements and change. It is the old things that startle and intoxicate. It is the old things that are young." -G.K. Chesterton _The Napoleon of Notting Hill_