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Choice of phonemes and allophones
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Note 5: Choice of phonemes and allophones Sounds written s and z I consider the sound written s in words like fazes to be an allophone of the phoneme /s/ , although in Portugal it nearly always sounds the same or practically the same as phoneme /S/ . By considering this [S] as a fully predictable allophone of /s/, and not of /S/, it is easier to explain that: Some in Portugal sometimes/almost make it sound [s], not [S]. Many in Brazil (in São Paulo rather than Rio de Janeiro) use [s] here. See note 23 , item 2 . A written s in this position easily becomes [z] when a word follows that starts with a vowel, whereas a /S/ written ch or x always stays [S]. (But the problem with this reasoning is that ch and x hardly ever occur in word-final position, so it can't be shown that they behave differently). On the other hand, one could argue that the written s in casa , which sounds as [z], is also an allophone of /s/ , and not of the phoneme /z/ . But although the written s predictably changes to [z] when between vowels, it doesn't mean that all sounds [s] change to [z] in that position, which is clear from words like disse and faço . For that reason I chose to count intervocalic [z] written s as part of phoneme /z/ . Likewise, discussion is possible about whether the z in faz belongs to phoneme /Z/ , or is a [Z] allophone of phoneme /z/ . Copyright © 2000-2007 by R. Harmsen Back to main document Alphabetic listing Phonemic listing Sample origins Links to glossaries Phoneme summary List of notes Colours: Neutral Weird No preference Reload screen ... - [detail] - [similar]
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