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Re: Buffer and Vowel phonology

> The question is: is it better
>for the language that the phonology be as clear and simple as possible
>for speaker and hearer or that anything goes?

Yes. %^)

Since clear and simple are relative terms, I am free to conmtend that what
some speakers and listeners would find clearest and simplest would be one
in which "anything goes" assuming you mean that we tolersateinexact values for
some phonemes.

>If everyone has the same centre/norm, then they probably have much the
>same map. But why will you not prescribe the centre/norm for the buffer
>(which was one of the options John suggested)?

Because  I don't speak a significantly biffered dialect, and until we have
some such speakers we won't be able to find out which they prefer as
"simplest" and clearest.

>Is that still allowed? I thought that licence had been rescinded! And
>there's me doing [h]s when I cd have been doing voiceless bilabial

I think someone just recently mentioned using unvoiced /th/.

I would truly like to hear Lojban spoken with your suggested alternate buffer.

If you get a chance, add a short sample onto one of Nick's tapes before you
send it back, so I can hear it when the tapes finally et to me 9as Nick says he
currently plans afte you returnthem %^).

>If the bv has phonological existence then presumably it is a lojban
>sound. And if that sound is required to be shorter than other vowels
>then length is a phonological feature.

I thought you said that a burp has phological existence but does not map
to a phoneme.
>> any consonant phonologically happens in an environment surrounded by
>> "vowels" of some shortness in any consonant cluster.
>That's not true of English (at least not in any theory I know) but I
>had thought until recent discussions that it is true of lojban.

I think it is true for all languages.  isn't aspiration a "vowel sound" for

>> I left the word "vowel" out on purpose, but perhaps should have left the
>> word phoneme out.  The buffer is a vowel sound, but has no phonemic
>> significance.  In effect, its existence serves more to define a limit on
>> what vowel sounds among possible Lojban ones DO map to phonemes, and
>> which are simply noises that accompany consonants.
>If someone other than you thinks this makes sense, they should join in
>and help get me to see that.

Trying again - the buffer is a phone that can be heard by Lojbanists, but
is not mapped to any phoneme in the formal sense of the difinition of phoneme
which requires a miniml pair to exist.  By definition, there can BE no minimal
pair that differs only on the presence or absence of a buffer vowel.

>But the acoustic space between [i] and [u] - i.e. around [y] - is
>relatively unoccupied, by this standard. And I believe that cross-
>linguistically, phonemic distinctions near the centre are rarer than
>distinctions around the periphery, and the same goes for phoneticians'
>perceptual abilities.

True, but distinctions of only 2 central vowel sounds is not that uncommon.

>True. I think the normal practise is to hold extensive trials. If
>Lojban was to do that, there'd be a big redesign after the lg has seen
>a number of years of heavy use. But at that point everyone who'd
>learnt it wouldn't tolerate a redesign.

If it is truly broken in some area, undoubtedly someone would lead an effort to
creeae a new version correcting that error.  It won't likely be me, but if
I agreed that it were truly broken, I might support the modification process.
I don't think that there wiull be wholesale changes possible, but some change
will be.

>> > > That emphatically means that we do NOT want schwa used as a buffer.
>> >Why not, so long as /y/ maps to something different from the buffer?
>> Well, I would rather have one non-standard vowel than two.
>? Which are the one or two non-standard vowels, and which standard to
>they deviate from?

What I am saying is that I would aaccept non-standardization of the buffer
vowel, but not of the hyphen value.

>I think that this may to some slight degree be because most speakers so
>far are English native, but mainly because lg users can cope with all
>sorts of noise & warping & flouting of rules. And the fluenter we get,
>the better we'd be at coping. So I reckon your "anything goes" policy
>would work. But then, by that standard, so would ambiguous syntax and
>word boundaries. The unambiguous syntax and morphology is not motivated
>by practical considerations. This is why I said you were being toljbo.

The unambiguous syntax and morphology are motivated by the original design
concept which doesn' tolerate ambiguity in those areas,  Precision, on
the other hand, may not always be a culturally neutral position.