On Wednesday, January 23, 2002, at 11:16 , Christophe Grandsire wrote:

>> No line need be drawn: [R] is a vowel, just as much as [i] is.
> But that's only true for Americans which have a rhotic dialect. British
> English
> [R] can only be used as a consonant (writer is pronounced there /RaIt@/,
> not /RaItR=/). Don't presuppose that what is true of our dialect is true
> everywhere.

Anything in square brackets is phonetic transcription; forward slashes
denote phonemic transcription and curly braces or quotes denote
orthographic transcription. If I had said  "/r/ is a vowel" or "{r} is a
vowel", I would have been overstating the case, since not all allophones
of /r/ (spelled {r}) are vowels. However, I said [R]--a *phonetic*
transcription--is a vowel, because it is.

(Someone posted that in X-SAMPA [R] is the French {r} transcribed in IPA
as an upside-down capital R. To clarify, I'm not using X-SAMPA because I
don't know it.)

> The line you so much want to draw is drawn at different places by
> different languages. So why drawing a line which is so much
> language-dependent
> when talking about phonology in general?

The line I'm drawing is one of phonetic (articulatory), not phonemic.
Phonetically, the line is relatively clear, I repeat.