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dirk elzinga wrote:
> When I say that either [p] or [b] could be selected as the phoneme,
> what I mean is that the choice of [p] or [b] isn't forced by the
> theory; the theory can allow either. It's up to you whether you
> consider this to be a failure or fortunate result. One the one hand,
> it offers a potential explanation for sound change: some speakers
> "phonemicize" [p], others [b]. Whichever group gains linguistic
> dominance gets to "determine" the next generation's grammar. Under a
> strict phonemicist position, this explanation for sound change is not
> available, since one or the other *must* must be chosen.

I don't understand the significance of this.  How is this different from
phonemes?  You're still considering [p] and [b] to represent the same
underlying form, whether it's called /p/ or /b/ (or even /F/ or /B/) is
more or less arbitrary.  Isn't the underlying form exactly what a
phoneme *is*?

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