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Re: 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.

Then the speaker is free to tell the listener to go and learn the
language or to try harder.

> 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.

That's a reasonable justification for anything-goes. I think the reference
grammar presentation should make this much much clearer, though, since
it gives the misleading impression (a) that it is not the case that
anything goes, and (b) that lojban phonology is like natural lg phonology.

> >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.

Either that is not true, or you have been excessively short of doubt.
I think the former is far more likely than the latter.

> >> >And there's me doing [h]s when I cd have been doing voiceless bilabial
> >> >trills!
> >> 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.

A raspberry is a bilabial trill with velaric egressive airstream (i.e.
like a click but blown rather than sucked), which can be voiceless or,
if you allow air to pass out through the nose, voiced. What I actually
had in mind was a bilabial trill with pulmonic egressive airstream,
like "Brrrr!" [it's cold] but without voice.

> >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.

Well I said this about burps in order to concede your point that not
every sound is interpreted phonologically. Now you want to argue
against yourself. Fine. Okay: I concede that you *can* interpret
it phonologically, or at least try to. But I maintain that noone
does. [When the burper is not laryngectomized or a user of
oesophageal rather than laryngeal voice.]

> >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.

By cluster, I mean a sequence of two consonant phones with no intervening
vowel phone. I still don't see why you are questioning that such
sequences exist.

What is your sound card?

I don't know about the acoustics of clicks, but I am surprised to hear
that a brief slice of [S] sounds, when protracted, like a vowel.

> >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.

Minimal pairs are actual or potential phonological items. */ba/ is not,
so */ba/ v. /baN/ is not a minimal pair. I was explaining how you had
mistaken the nature of minimal-pairhood.

> There IS no contrast in Lojban between klama and k%lama, both
> are identical words

Quite. I understand this. So let us write it /k%lama/.

You then have a seven way contrast: k%lama/kalama/kelama/kilama/kolama/
kulama/k@lama. These are minimal pairs. Hence, /%/ is a phoneme.

> >> 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
> >bookshelves.]
> 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'll ask a straightforwarder question: which lgs have Lojban's 7
vowel system (taking /%/ to be centred on central [I-])?

> >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.

If breaking point = rampant communication failure, then I'd bet a lot it
won't break. If breaking point = failure of design goals (e.g. unambiguous
utterances) then I'd bet a lot it will.