08-08-03 08:03, ikpeylough wrote:

>> To me [N] is not a phoneme in English, but a phone that is the
>> realisation of the phoneme /n/ before a velar stop. When /g/ is
>> dropped, the realisation is [n], e.g. shipping > shippin'.
>> Jean-Paul G. POTET, FRANCE
> I don't think one can meaningfully speak of "phonemes in English". It
> seems clear that the set of phonemes is accent-dependent. Also, it's
> my understanding that {shippin'} is really {shippen} -- that is, a
> remnant of a dialect that generalized a different form, so there is
> no {g} to be dropped.

One can speak about /g/-dropping (e.g. wi[+nasal]g# --> wiNg# --> [wIN])
only at a sufficiently high level of abstraction. At the "systematic
phonetic" level [N] and [Ng] contrast in most accents of English, as in
the near-minimal pair <finger> [-Ng-] -vs. <singer> [-N-]. There's no
contrast in some accents of Northern British English. I once had a
teacher who came from Lancashire and who had not only a distinctly
pronounced final [g] in <sing> but _both_ [g]'s in <singing> as well. In
her accent of course [N] was a mere allophone of /n/ before velars.