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Re: rotokas; practical syllabarology; et alia

From:Mark P. Line <mark@...>
Date:Friday, June 18, 2004, 20:26
Jean-François Colson said:
> At there's a > "minimal pair" (tuta / tuuta) WITH RECORDINGS.
Not enough information there to be useful. The existence of a pair like 'tuta' and 'tuuta' does not indicate that 'uu' has to be a single phoneme, of course. As I mentioned in an earlier post, it only means that these forms are in phonemic contrast. Obviously, /tuta/ and /tuuta/ are in phonemic contrast just as /tuta/ and /tu:ta/ would be. The existence of the minimal pair only demonstrates the phonemic contrast; it doesn't help us decide what phonemes we need to represent the forms. The bottom set of examples refers to forms as "bisyllabic" without specifying how syllables are defined. If he's using these to determine whether or not long vowels should be treated as separate phonemes, then that seems a bit circular. (If the forms are bisyllabic, then he's already decided how many vowel phonemes are in them -- but we're not told why.) As I said, there's not enough information here to be useful. -- Mark