"war" [wor]

Scot LaFaive slafaive at GMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 15 20:40:00 UTC 2008

> Are there any others that lean toward a definition similar to mine?

I was always taught and have always seen "minimal pair" to mean
differing by a single phoneme, not necessarily a "minimal" difference.


On Fri, Aug 15, 2008 at 2:18 AM, LanDi Liu <strangeguitars at gmail.com> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       LanDi Liu <strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "war" [wor]
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Fri, Aug 15, 2008 at 2:27 PM, Michael Covarrubias
> <mcovarru at purdue.edu> wrote:
>> LanDi Liu wrote:
>>> "Pair" and "dare" are not minimal pairs because the difference ([p] vs
>>> [d]) involve different places of articulation, so the difference is
>>> not "minimal".
>>> "Shit" and "sheet" are minimal pairs because both vowels are high
>>> front vowels, with the second higher and fronter than the first.
>>> Randy
>> You don't consider [per] and [der] a minimal pair Randy? I do. I've
>> always gone with a single phoneme distinction not just a single feature.
>> Interesting. What about differences in place with identical manner and
>> voicing. Would you consider that a minimal pair? Does it depend of the
>> inventory of the language you're studying?
>> michael
> Hmmm.  I didn't consider them minimal pairs I guess because the way
> minimal pairs are used in ESL is to teach differentiation between
> things that are very similar.  Looking at definitions of minimal pairs
> on the web, though, and being reminded of the use of minimal pairs to
> distinguish phonemes in a language/dialect, I guess my definition is a
> little different.
> "Sit" and "mitt" differ in one phoneme, but one is an alveolar
> fricative and the other is a bilabial nasal, and therefore have
> nothing in common with each other, so this wouldn't be a candidate for
> an ESL minimal pair list.
> Are there any others that lean toward a definition similar to mine?
> [Ignoring for now the other usage of using minimal pairs to validate
> phonemes?]
> --
> Randy Alexander
> Jilin City, China
> My Manchu studies blog:
> http://www.bjshengr.com/manchu
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