Michael Covarrubias mcovarru at PURDUE.EDU
Sat Apr 5 22:29:46 UTC 2008

Scot LaFaive wrote:
> I believe what Dennis was confused (or downright pissed) about was
> your use of "phoneme" when talking about "~or" because "~or" is not a
> phoneme at all but two distinct allophones.
In the following sentence

"One phoneme doesn't have is the ~or phoneme (= the sound of
letter "o" in "or")."

I believe Mr Z is using "~or" to specify phoneme -- not define it. His
parenthetical/appositive should make that clear. I may disagree with
about 98 percent of his conclusions but it helps to know what he's
actually saying along the way.

> Essentially, phonemes are
> in your head and allophones are the actual production of phonemes in
> specific environments. I don't know of any other definitions for
> phoneme and allophone that phonologists use, so I'm not sure what you
> mean by "search engines give several definitions." I think I'll go
> with what phonologists mean by phoneme and allophone instead of Google
> and Yahoo.
> Scot

Something "in your head" isn't much of a definition. Phonologists
probably have more definitions of phoneme than Google and Yahoo combined.


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