FW: Minimal pairs

Michael Covarrubias mcovarru at PURDUE.EDU
Sat Oct 18 20:21:49 UTC 2008

this came up in august when randy mentioned the same definition. it was
a new one to me. i use 'minimal pair' to describe any difference of a
single phoneme, not limited to a single feature difference.

arnold zwicky said regarding the differing conventions:

> the ESL lists are indeed of minimal pairs (in
> the standard sense), but they give only the
> distinctions in english that are likely to be
> problematic for learners -- problematic
> because they involve small phonetic
> differences that are not contrastive in many
> languages.


Janet Marting wrote:
> Minimal pairs was one difference in a phone/sound that appears in the same
> position (e.g. sip-dip-lip-tip).
> Jinny Marting

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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