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On Fri, Nov 12, 2004 at 04:24:04PM -0500, Pascal A. Kramm wrote:
> On Wed, 10 Nov 2004 11:58:24 -0500, Roger Mills <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> >Fronting of velars before front V is also seen in the German ach-laut vs.
> >ich-laut; both sounds presumably represent the same _phoneme_ /x/ though
> >they are phonetically quite distinct.
>
> No, they don't represent the same. Exclusively "ch" in "Bach" represents
> /x/, while "ch" in "ich" always represents /C/.

You're misunderstanding.  No one is arguing that the  *pronunciation* varies
between [x] or [C] depending on environment.  Roger's statement was that
he believes the underlying phoneme to be the same.

I don't know enough about German to know if he's correct.  But what
would be required for him to be *incorrect* is more than the fact that
they sound different.  The most direct indication that they're separate
phonemes would be examples where the two pronunciations aren't in
complementary distribution.  The most straightforward such example would
be a minimal pair - two otherwise-identical words with different
meanings where one has [x] in the same place the other has [C] - but
that's not the only possibility.

-Marcos