Talk:Asi language

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Counting phonemes[edit]

  1. "Asi has sixteen consonants: p, t, k, b, d, g, m, n, ng, s, h, w, l, r and y."
    • p,t,k + b,d,g + m,n,ng + s,h + w,l,r,y = 3+3+3+2+4 = 15, not 16.
  2. There are four vowels: a, i/e, and u/o."
    • That's three phonemes, five phones, but no way is it four of anything.

Both numbers corrected. --Thnidu (talk) 03:16, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Allophony[edit]

The description of the vowel allophones is ambiguous. It is open to two interpretations, one of which is contradictory:

The vowels i and e are allophones, with i always being used when it is the beginning and sometimes end of a syllable, and e always used when it ends a syllable. The vowels u and o are allophones, with u always being used when it is the beginning and sometimes end of a syllable, and o always used when it ends a syllable.

This describes two phonemes: a front vowel (call it /i/) and a back vowel (call it /u/). (The third vowel, /a/, apparently has no such allophony.) In the first sentence, about /i/, consider the clause "e [is] always used when it ends a syllable". If syllable-final /i/ is always pronounced [e], then it cannot be "sometimes" pronounced [i]. The second sentence, about /u/, is exactly parallel in construction and has exactly the same problem.

The other interpretation is that "always" and "sometimes" apply to the allophones, not the phonemes. That is, whenever the phoneme /i/ is always pronounced [i] when syllable-initial, and also sometimes when syllable-final; the allophone [e] only occurs at the end of a syllable (and similarly for the back vowel). We can present this as a table:

Vowel allophony
Syllable-
initial
Syllable-
final
front (/i/) [i] usually [e],
sometimes [i]
back (/u/) [u] usually [o],
sometimes [u]


(I may have to make the edits tomorrow.)

--Thnidu (talk) 04:04, 15 June 2017 (UTC)