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NIk Taylor wroted:  What do you mean by "aspirated vowels"?  Do you mean
voiceless vowels? There are some natlangs that have that phonemically,
altho I can't think of any examples right now.  Japanese has it
allophonically with /i/ and /u/.  I don't know the rules exactly, but it
only occurs between voiceless consonants."

They are referred to as "whispered mora," and they occur between voiceless
consonants. To English speakers, they sound very much like 'dropped'
syllables: shita sounds like shta, shitsureishimasu sounds like
shtsureishimas, etc. In fact, the vowel is 'whispered' and retained, as
Japanese does not have phonemic stress (ie. there aren't 'unstressed
syllables' to drop per se).

BB

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