On 27/07/2011 20:45, And Rosta wrote:
> R A Brown, On 27/07/2011 08:14:
>> On 26/07/2011 20:17, Peter Cyrus wrote:
>>> The idea of a phoneme is an abstraction of phone :
>> A _set_ of phones, surely?
>> David Crystal writes: "The notion of a phoneme allowed
>> linguists to group together sets of phonetically similar
>> phones as VARIANTS, or 'members', of the same underlying
>> unit."
> (I) Some people see phonemes as a set whose members are its
> allophones.
> (II) Some people see phonemes as
> abstractions/generalizations/genericizations of the
> allophones (so the allophone is a subtype or instance of the
> phoneme).
> (III) Some people see phonemes as a kind of phonetic
> blueprint (whose level of abstractness or specificity would
> be subject to debate).
> (IV)Other people (including me), see phonemes as completely
> abstract units of lexical contrast, associated with separate
> phonetic blueprints by realization/interpretation rules
> (analogous to the rules that relate words to their meanings).
> I suspect that many conlangers (such as Peters Cyrus and
> Bleakley) incline to View (II).

I don't see (I) to (IV) as being mutually exclusive. I agree
entirely that phonemes are _abstractions_. I think of the
four definitions above, (II) is probably more or less where
you'd put me. I would have written "the idea of a phoneme is
an abstraction of a set of phones."

On 27/07/2011 20:56, Michael Everson wrote:
 > Me, I hear phonemes.

Whereas I hear instantiations of phonemes   :)

Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu.
There's none too old to learn.