Nik Tailor wrote:

>Well, that may be true in your dialect, but I did specify "in my
>dialect", [@] and [V] are in complimentary distribution, and they are
>phonetically similar, that's the definition of allophone I learned.
>Yes, all lax vowels can become /@/, but isn't that simply phonemic
>neutralization, as in the German phenomenon of voiced consonants
>devoicing word-finally?

I'm sorry.  I don't see the difference between allophony and phonemic
neutralization in this context.  I would certainly say that devoiced final
consonants are allophones of the voiced phoneme in German.

>> That basic point still stands, that I don't see how we could find an
>> underlying
>> pronunciation for the schwa in "comma."  It may be best to consider it a
>> phoneme.  I just don't know how to test that.
>Of course schwa is a phoneme, I don't think anyone's said it wasn't.

If you look back at why this part of the thread started, it was because a
phoneme list for English did not include schwa.  I was merely pointing out
it probably could be considered a phoneme, but it isn't at all obvious.  I do
know phonologists who claim schwa is not a phoneme of English, but I'm not
where I stand on the issue.