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Roger Mills skrev:
> --- On Tue, 11/24/09, Catherine Rodgers <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> 
>> In my conlang Lhenazi, I have /e/ phonemically contrasting
>> with /ei/. But my American accent is giving me trouble. I'm
>> tending to say them as [E] and [e.i], respectively, to make
>> them more distinct.
> 
> I forgot to mention:  why not just say that phonemic /e/ is [E]
> is most environments (e.g. word final, pre-consonantal), but
> [e] if another vowel follows.  Lots of ways around the problem
> :-))))

My Lect1 (the local dialect, not Swedish! ;) has contrasting /e/,
/E/ and /ej/, and the monophthongs are long in stressed syllables
when followed by less than two consonants.  Thus /'se:r d8 'me:/
'do you see, too?' and /'se:r d8 'mej/ 'do you see _me_?' are two
perfectly fine minimally contrasting utterances.  However most
Swedish speakers, including me when speaking 'elevated', have
centering diphthongs for long /e/ and /E/ at least in closed
syllables, so that the minimal triplet /'sed/ 'custom' /sEd/
'seed' and /sejd/ 'pagan sorcery' is [se@d], [sE@d] and
[seid]/[sEid].

The matter is somewhat complicated by the fact that in the local
dialect /ej/ varies in realization between [ei], [Ei], [6i] and
[ez\], but that variation is stylistic/registerial/incidental and
is not exploited to 'resolve' ambiguous utterances like the above;
in fact [mei] is the most common realization in all contexts. In
fact a [m6i] realization would signal some surprise, and a [mez\]
realization would signal emphasis ('me and no other') at least for
me.  BTW there is also an /aj/ phoneme which can not be realized
as [ei]/[Ei]/[ez\] but only as [6i] or [az\]; thus /haj/ 'shark',
/kaj/ 'quay' or /aj/ 'ouch' can never be **[hei] etc.  [hei] can
only be 'hello', but [h6i] can be both, in some contexts.  /aj/ is
rather infrequent and mostly restricted to loanwords, but this
*is* a source of jokes, especially as /mej/ 'me' and /maj/ 'May'
(month or female name) is one of the facultatively merging minimal
pairs.

/BP 8^)>
-- 
Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  "C'est en vain que nos Josués littéraires crient
  à la langue de s'arrêter; les langues ni le soleil
  ne s'arrêtent plus. Le jour où elles se *fixent*,
  c'est qu'elles meurent."           (Victor Hugo)