My old buddy the archiphoneme

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Sat Sep 21 17:16:31 UTC 2002


Nonsense; you've conflated the vowels of "hoarse" and "horse" and
haven't distinguished /w/ from /hw/ for decades or more. Moral
superiority in phoneme-counting and/or partial neutralization is only
a figment of the self-important Michigan esteem for its own deficient


>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Dennis R. Preston"
>>  Definitely not an archiphoneme (though it warms my heart to see the
>>  word early on Saturday morning). Not all neutralization is
>>  archiphonemic. In this case the merger of /O/ and /a/ (as in most
>>  western US dialects, Eastern New England and a growing band across
>>  the Midland) does not result in an archiphoneme; it simply results in
>>  phoneme loss. I have one more phoneme than such speakers (and clearly
>>  a great deal of moral superiority by possessing it).
>One more phoneme!  What moral superiority!  I guess since my SE Mich dialect
>has phonemicized Canadian Raising before /d/, /nd/, and in open syllables,
>and I don't have the /O/  /a/ merger, your moral superiority is trumped.
>Don't mess with native Michiganders.

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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