Mark J. Reed sikyal: > On Thu, Jul 17, 2003 at 08:09:05PM +0100, Ian Spackman wrote: > > >Mostly true. But in some speakers, including myself, there are a few > > >words that don't follow the pattern. For example, I use [VI] in > > >"fire", where it is not followed by a voiceless consonant. However, I > > >use [aI] in "wire" and most or all other "-ire" words, so "fire" and > > >"wire" etc. don't rhyme in my speech. I've also observed informally > > >that Canadians who use [VI] in "fire" can hear the difference between > > >[VI] and [aI] fairly easily, while those who use [aI] in "fire" usually > > >can't ear the difference. > > > > I didn't know that it was phonemic for anyone. Interesting, but perhaps > > not surprising. > > Hearing a distinction doesn't make it phonemic. Show me a minimal pair. :) How about _spider_ [spVIdr=], v. _spied 'er_ [spaIdr=], as from my dialect? It's not perfect, but the distinction exists. Even better: _writer_ [rVI4r=] v. _rider_ [raI4r=], the most infamous example (because the conditioning environment is lost on the surface, here). Jesse S. Bangs [log in to unmask] http://students.washington.edu/jaspax/ http://students.washington.edu/jaspax/blog Jesus asked them, "Who do you say that I am?" And they answered, "You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground of our being, the kerygma in which we find the ultimate meaning of our interpersonal relationship." And Jesus said, "What?"