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Quoting Tristan McLeay <[log in to unmask]>:

>  --- Christophe Grandsire
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > But if you cannot get a unitary definition of the
> > phoneme, what's the point
> > of even trying to define it?
>
> How many words in the dictionary only have one
> definition?
>
> One could describe phoneme as broadly catching the
> meaning of the set of sounds (or articulations)
> fundamental to a language and from that define it as
> (1) the set of sounds an untrained speaker can
> individually recognise in their native language (by
> which /2/ and /9/ in French would definitely be
> phonemic) or
> (2) the minimal set of sounds needed to describe each
> word in a particular language.

Definition number two is asking for trouble. Any language which would normally
be considered to have 3-6 vowel sounds could be analyzed as having only two
vowels, combinations of which being realized as the remainder. I don't think
that's helping anyone.

                                                Andreas