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buffer vowel

>"Anything goes" was my caricature of your version of the phonology:
>"realize the phonemes however you like, so long as you keep them
>distinct from one another".  I think we can all agree that in principle
>speakers should find Anything-Goes relatively simple and listeners shd
>find A-G relatively difficult.

Language is a negotiation between speaker and listener.  If the speaker
is as ornery as you and decides to violate all conventions, then the
listener is free to not understand or to misunderstand.

But if speaker and listener can agree on a nonce violation of convention
in order to better suit speaker's mastery of the phonology, then they
will communicate.  We recognize that in the case of phonology, many
speakers are "wired" at extremely young age.  Chomsky notwithstanding
computer languages have shown that it is possible to master strange
morphology and syntax well past childhood, so it is fair to demand more
rigor of a speaker in order to preserve other goals of the language.

>> >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.
>I see no rhyme or reason to which bits of the lg design are done in
>advance and which bits are left until lots of people are using it.

Simple - if there is any doubt as to the right answer, and we can make
even a weak case for begging the question while still preserving
learnability, we do so.  The boundary is of course judgemental; it is
also determined by time pressure.  The closer we get to publishing a
book, the more John is able to convince me that we don't have to decide
something. the phonology was one of the first things baselined in the
language and until/unless someone convinces me that the language is
unspeakable or incomprehensible - i.e truly broken - under any plausible
interpretation of the rules.  The standard on changing the phonology is
MUCH higher than that on changing a place structure.

>> >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 I thought that licence had been rescinded!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
>> >trills!
>> I think someone just recently mentioned using unvoiced /th/.
>> I would truly like to hear Lojban spoken with your suggested alternate
>> buffer.
>By "buffer" you here mean /'/?  You want to hear me using voiceless [B]
>instead of [h]?  Okay.

I had been guessing that a voiceless bilabial trill was akin to a
voiceless "Bronx cheer"/"raspberry", and I can't imagine how to do one
of those voicelessly %^) (much less multiple times in a sentence).
Maybe my image of a "trill" is incorrect.

>No.  I said "But obviously, if you hear a *burp*, you don't take it to
>be a /u/ or whatever".  That doesn't say that burps have phonological
>existence.  They don't.

Why not?  If I can hear it, I can interpret it phonologically.  I'd be
surprised if someone hasn't invented a joke conlang with /belch/ as a
phoneme.  Hmm.  Voiceless belch.  Belchal fricative.  Yep, I've heard
these before!

>Neither phonetically nor phonologically.  What you are saying is that no
>language has consonant clusters, phonologically.  That is a theoretical
>claim, but I think all phonologists would reject it.  It is demonstrably
>false that phonetically there are no consonant clusters.

Phonetiocally is exactly where I would question it, EXCEPT where
"cluster" means multiple points of articulation.  I've played with my
sound card.  And if you take a couple of milliseconds of any portion of
any spoken consonant and play it in isolation, it will always sound like
a vowel or a click.

>You have the formal definition wrong.  To see why, consider the
>following example. suppose in English /N/ occurred only
>syllable-finally.  Then, it would not be the case that because there is
>no contrast between the presence and absence of /N/ - e.g.  /baN/ v.
>*/ba/ there is therefore no /N/ phoneme.

I don't follow this.  You asterisked /ba/ so obviously there IS a
contrast.  There IS no contrast in Lojban between klama and k%lama, both
are identical words while there is between klama and

>> True, but distinctions of only 2 central vowel sounds is not that
>> uncommon.
>Could you (or anyone else) give me a sample of such vowel systems & tell
>me which lgs they belong to?  [I don't have this info on my

Well off the top of my head, Russian has schwa /@/? and the sound
Romanized by many as y /I/?  I think English has a few more.

>I doubt that. The lg is clearly not so broken that it is unusable, &
>that's what counts in impelling reform.

5 years of ever more sophisticated use may push the language to the
breaking point.  WE don't KNOW what people who are fluent in Lojban may
try to say.  After all, the kinds of problems that are being debated
today weren't considered problems 5 years ago.  Yet in some cases people
have pointed out legitimate ambiguities and contradictions that needed
some resolution.  If we come up with something that needs resolution and
there is no way to fix it without reform, then reform is necessary.  But
we'll try to get by for 5 years because I doubt whether there is
anything so broken that we cannot do as well or better than English with
regards to ambiguity.