>But it seems to me to run counter to the phonemic theory to set up a 
>phonemic inventory for the English of north-west England and thus separate 
>ones for
(list of dialects snipped)

Incidentally... and in an attempt to steer this back towards the original 
topic maybe... if analyzing English as a whole, shouldn't you also set up 
separate phonemes such as the vowel in BATH, which, while they aren't 
independant phonemes (from TRAP or FATHER in this case) within any dialect, 
still behave distinctivly when considering all of them? There will be 
differing phonemical analyses for identically pronounced words anyway when 
you consider dialects with mergers; and I don't see why phonemical 
transcriptions of certain words differing between dialects would be any 
better (or worse) than phoneme sets differing between dialects.

So this rephrases the original question to: can anyone think of an English 
phrase with all of the "lexical sets" represented? We can agree on how many 
of them there are, can we?

>Daniel Prohaska wrote:
> > You chose to render the vowel in "bays" as /e:/, but if there's
> > no short /e/ to contrast it with, the /:/ is optional.
>In fact phonemically it's redundant.

>Applying Ockham's razor, /e/ would seem the best.


While I understand your generic point, I disagree on your interpretation of 
the razor's usage here. I don't consider /e/ to be a fundamentally simpler 
transcription than /e:/ just because it has one caracter less; if you start 
transcribing a long/short contrast in the first place, my interpretation is, 
then, that any vowel not explicitely marked as long will be explicitely 
short. Which, in this case, would be wrong. (For a parallel, imagine 
transcribing the [b] in Arabic as /p/ on the basis that unvoiced stops are 
more common.)

John Vertical

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