22 votes

Should orthographies represent phonemes or phones?

Consult the speech community. The orthography must fit the needs of the speech community, they are the primary users of it. When the speech community wants a phonetic representation (helping ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
16 votes

American English : are [ə] and [ʌ] different phonemes? (schwa vs. chevron)

This is a well-written argument, but I think it's mistaken to conclude that they are the same phoneme; or, more to the point, I think this is a case that highlights a limit of phoneme/allophone ...
hunter's user avatar
  • 792
10 votes
Accepted

What is it called when a person pronounces the letter t in the word "metal" as something more similar to a d sound?

The phenomenon is known as "flapping", and the result, transcribed as [ɾ], is a "flap". It also applies to /d/, but people notice it most when applied to /t/ since the result is more different ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
7 votes
Accepted

Does assimilation of voice produce different phonemes, or just allophones?

There is no clear answer to the title question in general; it may depend on the sounds, or the language. (Well, unless you define "assimilation" in such a way as to explicitly refer to a ...
brass tacks's user avatar
  • 18.1k
7 votes
Accepted

Phonemes or allophones?

You've almost got it! The trick is, the professor isn't asking if [p̚ t̚ k̚] are allophones of a single phoneme. That is, they're not asking if there's a single underlying phoneme /C̚/ that surfaces ...
Draconis's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

What symbol, if any, signifies an audible nasal emission in the IPA?

I think what you're calling an audible nasal emission is just a voiceless nasal e.g. /m̥/, /n̥/, /ɳ̥/, & /ŋ̥/ (the diacritic here is not always well-rendered, but is a ring below). By definition, ...
Tristan's user avatar
  • 8,322
7 votes

Is it attested for /m/ to have an allophone [x]?

The only thing I can think of that might remotely connect to this, is the reconstructed Old Chinese initial of 黑, which is /*m̥ˤək/ according to Baxter-Sagart. This led to alternations such as 黑/墨 ([x-...
jogloran's user avatar
  • 5,144
6 votes
Accepted

Calabrian/Sicilian and unstressed e/o

Not all Calabrian is the same Calabrian (it: Calabrese) is the name given to the romance dialect continuum spoken in Calabria. It is commonly divided into two different language groups: In the ...
iacobo's user avatar
  • 3,112
6 votes

American English : are [ə] and [ʌ] different phonemes? (schwa vs. chevron)

[ə] and [ʌ] are allophones of a single phoneme. Schwa appears in an unstressed syllable and wedge appears in a stressed syllable. Because of this complementarity, it is not possible to find minimal ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
6 votes

Should orthographies represent phonemes or phones?

It does not per se matter whether you write using narrow vs broad transcriptions. The following desiderata should guide your choices. Number 1 is, do speakers like your choice over the alternative. ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
5 votes

Are there any minimal pairs between [ɨ] and [i] in Russian phonology?

The term "minimal pair" means "pair of words distinguished only by the selection of a single phone". As far as I know there is a single minimal pair, икать "to pronounce unstressed е (je) as и (i), ...
user6726's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

How do allophones become distinct phonemes?

The term "allophone" refers to two different things. One is an actual physical realization in a given context. For example, in English the lips start to continuously protrude on consonants in ...
user6726's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

Phonemic Transcription Ambiguity?

What is the language you transcribe? Assuming Standard (American or British) English, writer /ˈraɪtər/ and rider /ˈraɪdər/ are different and the transcription is correct. When you do a phonetic ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
5 votes

Are there any minimal pairs for German lax/tense vowels?

The distinction between long and short vowels is historic, not merely orthographic. It goes back to proto-Germanic and in many cases to proto-Indo-European. As for minimal pairs, they are not rare. ...
fdb's user avatar
  • 24.2k
5 votes
Accepted

Vowel Deletion and Allophone variation in Japanese High Vowel Clusters?

Since the only syllable-final consonants in Japanese are /N/, a nasal whose place always assimilates to the following consonant, and /Q/, which geminates the following consonant, and there are no ...
Nardog's user avatar
  • 4,941
5 votes

Might tones affect vowel quality?

Many languages of Southeast Asia have such a tone / quality connection, for example Vietnamese whose tones have to be defined phonetically in terms of duration, pitch and phonation. The correlation ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
4 votes

Why do so many languages have both an alveolar "light L" [l] and a velarized "dark L" [ɫ] allophone?

I've been looking for a functional explanation in the literature, and this apparently isn't a question that has been explored: why is the change from clear to dark l so common? Dark l has a very low ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
4 votes

Does assimilation of voice produce different phonemes, or just allophones?

They are called allomorphs. It refers to phonological variations of a same morpheme. See the In English suffixes section of the given wikipedia article. It gives an example of the past tense morpheme -...
Ignatius's user avatar
  • 357
4 votes

Why are allophones called variants of a phoneme?

A phoneme is an abstract entity deduced from the distribution of phones (actual sounds) in a language. It is typically transcribed with the symbol that represents the most common sound (allophone) of ...
Nardog's user avatar
  • 4,941
4 votes

American English : are [ə] and [ʌ] different phonemes? (schwa vs. chevron)

For a minimal pair to contrast /ə/ and /ʌ/, how about: "subversion" meaning an act of subverting, and "subversion" as in version 1 subversion 1.2.
Rosie F's user avatar
  • 602
4 votes

Phonemic Transcription Ambiguity?

No. All it shows is that the two phonemes /d/ and /t/ have overlapping allophones. Minimal pairs such as /dip/ and /tip/ show that they are still distinct phonemes.
curiousdannii's user avatar
  • 6,192
4 votes

American English : are [ə] and [ʌ] different phonemes? (schwa vs. chevron)

Your question doesn't really have an answer. For me, there is a contrast between the weak form of just meaning recently, /dʒəst/, and the word just meaning fair, /dʒʌst/. I use the weak form of just ...
Peter Shor 's user avatar
4 votes

Do these vowel sounds "slip" in languages such as Spanish and Hebrew?

It's certainly true that there is no phonemic contrast between /e i o u/ and /ɛ ɪ ɔ ʊ/ in Spanish. I'm less familiar with the phonology of Hebrew, but the variety described by the Wikipedia article "...
brass tacks's user avatar
  • 18.1k
4 votes

Should orthographies represent phonemes or phones?

The answer of user6726 raises some very good points, but really the correct answer is that you should get in touch with someone (ideally more than one person) who has faced this problem before, ...
Pilcrow's user avatar
  • 156
3 votes
Accepted

What are the arguments against Wells’s syllabification of English?

The tags include "phonetics" but not "phonology", but people often ask questions about phonetics and tag them "phonology", so I assume that you're asking about a phonological issue. If you really mean ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
3 votes

can two phonemes of two different allophone appear in one word?

If a phoneme appears twice in a word, it will be pronounced the same if and only if the tokens of the phonemes appear in the same context (as defined by the allophonic rule). The phoneme /t/ is ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
3 votes

Are [s] and [z] allophones of the same phoneme in Spanish? What is the rule that predicts the distribution?

Yes, unlike English , in Spanish [z] is only a realization of /s/ (where s becomes before voiced consonants), and appears nowhere else in the language. So it’s only an allaphone of the phoneme /s/ ; ...
Delena's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes

Vowel Deletion and Allophone variation in Japanese High Vowel Clusters?

Labrune (The phonology of Japanese) does not report any such allophonic rule. She does report a trill realization as a social variant, typifying street thugs. It should be noted that while the ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
3 votes

Are there any minimal pairs for German lax/tense vowels?

There are many. denn/den Zinn/ziehn (dem) Sohne/(die) Sonne As for the word Mond, it's not irregular as you guessed. That syllable is structured just like gehst or klebt: onset nucleus coda ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
3 votes

Did Classical Hebrew and/or Aramaic have allophonic continuant length?

I don't know anything significant about Ancient Hebrew. Since there were different varieties of Hebrew and Aramaic in ancient times, I can't be sure whether information that I find in documents online ...
brass tacks's user avatar
  • 18.1k

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