British Dialects Book

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Sat Sep 21 17:12:58 UTC 2002

>Of course it would. As long as that means yhat nobody pronounces
>phonemes (only phones).

I don't understand, however, why "phone" and "phoneme" wouldn't do
for any speech recognition (or production) computational attempts? I
say the phones
[ha:], and, if you're good, you build a machine which recognizes the
word "hi" on the basis of some sort of pan-dialectal phonemic
representation (presumably something like /haI/ which represents the
morpheme {hi}. I don't really see the need for a 'pron.'

dInIs (who is no categorically opposed to new terminology)

>On Sat, 21 Sep 2002, Dennis R. Preston wrote:
>#A phonemic transcription (or representation) is of a mental cognitive
>#fact.  A phonetic transcription tries to capture an
>#acoustic/articulatory fact.
>Just so.
>#"Prons" (a new technical term to me)
>Not surprising, it was an in-house term.
>#appears to be a not very helpful one which means anything written
>#which tries to capture either of these facts.
>It was a very helpful term to us for the work of developing and
>producing speech recognition software. We needed to distinguish the
>actual acoustics of a pronunciation from the ways it was represented
>symbolically in our lexicons.
>#If I suggested that a phonetic or phonemic representation was itself
>#that which it represented, I apologize for that; I assure you I have
>#no such philosophical silliness in mind.
>I inferred it, but that doesn't mean that you implied it.
>Would our apparent differences disappear if "phonemic pronunciation"
>were replaced with "phonemic transcription"?
>-- Mark A. Mandel

Dennis R. Preston
Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics and Languages
740 Wells Hall A
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027 USA
Office - (517) 353-0740
Fax - (517) 432-2736

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