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Roger Mills wrote:
>         Ah me, times do change!  Nik's definition is also the one I
> learned-- pretty much "Classical (American) Phonemics" as it was
> Pre-Chomsky.  It's still a useful tool for beginning analysis, and still
> works for some languages, like Spanish;

I'd just like to add that I agree that that theory is not perfect.  I
realize that my post may have sounded that way.  However, for MY
idiolect, I'm not entirely convinced that there's ANY difference between
[V] and [@] beyond stress.  And apparently not just my idiolect, I've
heard others call [V] and [@]

> but it could not handle neutralization.

Some kinds it can handle pretty well, like when German collapses /d/ and
/t/ into [t] word-finally, it could be considered a case of the phoneme
/d/ becoming /t/.  But, of course, in cases like Japanese /d/ and /z/,
which become /dz/ (NOT /dZ/) before /u/ it fails.

> also [tSa] occurs IIRC.

/tS/ and /dZ/ can occur before any vowel except /e/, and are therefore
phonemes, since a contrast can exist between /ta/ and /tSa/, for
instance.  Looking in my Japanese-English dictionary, I found a minimal
pair quite quickly - cha ("tea") and ta ("rice field")

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