On Sat, 4 Aug 2007 19:28:09 -0700, Joseph Fatula wrote:

>    (I keep having these sorts of questions...)
>    Here we'll talk about a language that has 32 possible syllables, 
> phonetically.  There are basically 16 phonetic realizations of 
> consonants, and 8 phonetic vowels.
>    I could analyze this as a language with only 2 vowels that have 
> allophones based on the preceding consonant, in which case there are 8 
> consonants, or I could describe this as a language with 8 vowels and 
> only 4 consonants, which have allophones based on the following vowel.  
> Which is it?  How can I tell?
>    The syllables are as follows, orthographical first, then XSAMPA:
>      "pa fa ma va - te se ne re - či ši ñi li - qu xu �?u wo"
>      "pâ fâ mâ vâ - tê sê nê rê - tî šî nî rî - kû hû �?û wû"
>      [pa fa ma Ba - te se ne 4e - cCi Si Ji Li - qu xu Nu wo]
>      [p6 f6 m6 B6 - t@ s@ n@ 4@ - tI SI nI 4I - kU hU NU wU]

One *could* analyse this as either 16 consonants and 2 vowels,
or as 4 consonants and 8 vowels, but to me, it makes most sense
to speak of 16 consonants and 8 vowels, and the rest is phonotactics.

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