On Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 10:39, Peter Bleackley
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Secondly, if we were to encounter a language in which [N] and [h] were
> allophones, how would we describe the phoneme that they were allophones of?

Ask a native speaker what they feel is the "idealised" version of the phoneme?

More seriously, though, I'm not sure there's a single good answer.

For example, in German, [χ] and [ç] are arguably allophones of a
single phoneme, but if you'd ask a German what that phoneme is,
chances are they'd say, "ch". (That, is refer to the phoneme by the
digraph used to represent it, in both of its allophones.)

Philip Newton <[log in to unmask]>