Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Apr 6 09:43:58 UTC 2008

I agree with below, but don't understand how the same sound can be two different phonemes.  The same sound needs to be a expressed phonetically as the same phoneme, no matter what the tradspel (traditional spelling).

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+
See - and the 4 truespel books plus "Occasional Poems" at

> Date: Sun, 6 Apr 2008 11:04:21 +0800
> From: strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM
> Subject: Re: yahoo
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: LanDi Liu
> Subject: Re: yahoo
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Sun, Apr 6, 2008 at 6:29 AM, Michael Covarrubias
> wrote:
>> Scot LaFaive wrote:
>>> 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.
>> michael
>> Why not? It's just a less technical way to say that phonemes are
> perceptual. Allophones are the way that phonemes are physically expressed.
> A tapped /t/, an aspirated /t/, and an unaspirated /t/ are all the same
> phoneme, /t/, but are different allophones. /t/, however, is a very clean
> example. When you get into vowels, especially diphthongs, it gets tricky,
> and murky. For example, some of you may think Mary, marry, and merry have
> different phonemes, but they're all the same for people like me who have
> merged them.
> And if you're American, you probably say "man" and "male" with the same
> vowel sound -- "man" with a tensed ash, and "male" the same way, but you
> also probably consider "man" to have a short a sound, and "male" to have a
> long a sound. If you say them that way (and I do), you are using the same
> sound in two different phonemes.
> When defining an accent one must make some arbitrary decisions about what
> constitutes a phoneme in that accent, and what constitute allophones in each
> phoneme. Usually we try to apply an objective rule to this process, like
> the idea that changing phonemes affects meaning, but changing allophones
> doesn't, but this is not always cut and dry.
> --
> Randy Alexander
> Jilin City, China
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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