--- In phoNet@yahoogroups.com, "Jean-Paul G. POTET" <potetjp@w...>
> "I don't think one can meaningfully speak of "phonemes in English".
> seems clear that the set of phonemes is accent-dependent. Also,
> 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." IK PEYLOUGH, SOUTH FLORIDA
> Do you make the difference between phone and phoneme?
> Phone = a linguistic sound uttered by a speaker.
> Phoneme = a set of phonetic traits the realisations of which depend
on the phonotactic position it fills.

I think it's the concept of 'English', as opposed to one of its
dialects, having a set of phonemes that is under attack.

> For example /b/ is a phoneme in English. It is realised as [b] in
<scribe>, but as [p] in <*scription> of <subscription>,

I don't think so. You're importing a Latin rule neutralising /p/
v. /b/ into English. English gets close with the "b" (I think that's
better than {b}, if we have to avoid <b> lest it embolden the
following text.) However, the "p" is definitely pronounced
differently to the "b", so I don't agree. The best counterexample I
can think of is surnames like 'Hobson' and 'Gibson', to compare
with 'gypsum'.

> and as a more or less devoiced [b]as in <*sub-> of <subscription>.
> Of course in English the realisation of a vowel depends on whether
it is stressed or unstressed.