In Shoshoni the coronal affricate /ts/ is regularly palatalized following
the front vowels [i, e]. The Fort Hall (Idaho) orthography captures this
regular allophonic process. Cross-cutting palatalization are other
consonantal processes, so you never actually see plain [tʃ]; instead, you
see lenited or geminated versions. Here are some examples (given first in
<orthographic>, then [broad phonetic] and finally /phonemic/ forms):

<bizhi> [piʒi] /pitsi/ 'breast'
<moozo> [moːzo] /moːtso/ 'whiskers'

<guchu> [kuttʃu] /kuittsu/ 'cow'
<hutsi> [huttsi] /huttsi/ 'FaMo'

<dawinja> [tawindʒa] /tawintsa/ 'ankle'
<baanzuugu> [paːndzuːɣu] /paːntsuːku/ 'otter'

The orthography developed for Western Shoshoni and Goshute is more strictly
phonemic. In fact, all of the phonemic forms given above are the
orthographic forms, with the exception that lengthened vowels are written
with doubled vowels (e.g. mootso, paantsuuku).


On Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 8:55 AM, Jesse Bangs <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Does anybody know of a language whose orthography consistently
> distinguishes between two non-contrastive allophones? A hypothetical
> example would be a world in which English orthography was designed by
> colonizers from India, who assigned different Devanagari symbols to
> aspirated and unaspirated voiceless consonants in English, despite the
> fact that those sounds don't contrast and have a completely
> complimentary distribution.
> The nearest example that I can think of is Romanian, in which the
> phones a/ə are in mostly-complimentary distribution, but the
> orthography distinguishes them anyway as a/ӑ. However, there are some
> contexts in which those phones *do* contrast, including some important
> morphological alternations, which makes this a poor example of what
> I'm looking for.
> --
> JS Bangs
> [log in to unmask]
> "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle" -Philo of
> Alexandria