Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Jan 2 15:42:59 UTC 2007

On 1/2/07, Mark A. Mandel <mamandel at> wrote:
> It doesn't take a minimal pair to decide that two phones are different
> phonemes. English voiced and voiceless <th> (/th, dh/) should be distinct in
> any analysis even without such marginal minimal pairs as "thy/thigh" and
> "this'll/thistle". So would /sh, zh/ (do those two have any minimal pairs at
> all?).

There's "mesher" vs. "measure", "Asher" vs. "azure", "Aleutian" vs.
"allusion", "cash" vs. "cazh" (short for "casual"), "shush" vs.
"zhuzh" (a Queer Eye-ism), etc.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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