Subject: Re: case-sensitivity and identifiers (was Re: Wide character implementation) From: Erik Naggum <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2002 09:18:22 GMT Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <email@example.com> * Thomas Bushnell, BSG | Since a phoneme is a minimal unit distinguishing two words, if there are | two words that differ only in tone, the difference must therefore be | phonemic. Apparently, this is how some people see it -- I have not seen a difference in tone referred to as "phonemic". However, phonemes are supposed to be discrete elments of speech. A toneme is not -- the change in tone usually spans several phonemes. Therefore, it is either a phoneme of its own, which seems odd, or an additional speech element. If a "phoneme" is the _only_ smallest unit of sound it appears not to be possible to enumerate the phonemes of a language, any longer. | I mentioned stress (in English, with the "conduct" example), because | stress is also sometimes thought not to distinguish phonemes, but | really it does. So when something, anything distinguishes phonemes, they become two? That does not appear to be useful. It seems rather to mulitply them without bounds. | What is a gray area is whether how rigid one wants to be about the | definition of "phoneme". Seems if you can put whatever you want into to, it is rendered useless. /// -- In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none. In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.