existence and reality

James MacFarlane jmacfarl at UNM.EDU
Sat Apr 5 04:10:35 UTC 2003

> From: the phoneme <the_phoneme at HOTMAIL.COM
> Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

Dear Phoneme,

In my mind you are not dead.  You live on, but only because you help us to
categorize diverse surface phenomena which are related to one another in
various ways.  It is the arbitrary  (predetermined) status that some
linguists have given you that has been abandoned by many linguists and
psycholinguists.  Instead, some of us believe that you are only a temporary
(synchronic) phenomenon which is only capable of capturing the current state
of the sound system of a particular language.  And, even then you do a less
than adequate job.  If this is all one is interested in, then you should
feel secure in your position.  However, if linguists begin to become more
interested in language content and language use as a determining factor for
the structure of language, then your days are numbered.

James MacFarlane
Doctoral Candidate
University of New Mexico

PS  -I realize this post sounds awfully arrogant. I don't mean it to be.
This is the way that I conceptualize "the phoneme" and I am only presenting
it here to see how my views are different and similar to the views of
FUNKNETTERS. I'm enjoying this conversation tremendously AND learning a
great deal about the phoneme.

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