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En réponse à Nik Taylor :


>But even without minimal pairs, if you can find two sounds in the same
>*environment* that would be enough to call them phonemes.  E.g., if I
>understand the rules for [O]-[o] correctly, [o] is used in open
>syllables, [O] in closed.  (My apologies if I'm mistaken)

As I've said in an earlier post (but I sent it two minutes ago, so you
couldn't know), I know of at least one minimal pair: "Maud(e)"/"mode". So
you're indeed mistaken. Same for /2/-/9/. Although [2] appears normally
only in open syllables and [9] in closed ones, I know a few examples of [2]
in closed syllables, ruining the claims of those who tried to convince me
for years that [2] and [9] were a single phoneme ;)))) . That's what I mean
when I say that the native speaker's intuition should be valued more than
it is now. I've never met a speaker of any language recognise a distinction
which is not truly phonemic in his language, unless pointed specifically at
it. If the speaker is able to hear the distinction without having been
pointed at it, then it'll be extremely probably a phonemic distinction.

>   If you could
>find a word with [0] in an open syllable, or [o] in a closed syllable,
>that would proof of phonemicity.

I have :) .

>[h]-[N] is a non-argument because they're radically different sounds.

I thought that this was no argument when we were talking about allophones
:))) .

>Personally, I don't see any reason not to have more than one definition
>of phoneme, such that under one definition, [o] and [O] would be
>analyzed as one phoneme in French, and under another as two.

But if you cannot get a unitary definition of the phoneme, what's the point
of even trying to define it?

Christophe Grandsire.

http://rainbow.conlang.free.fr

You need a straight mind to invent a twisted conlang.