[Spellyans] More on bys/bes words and diacritical marks

Tom Trethewey tom.trethewey at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Jul 10 14:24:30 IST 2008

--- On Thu, 10/7/08, Jon Mills <j.mills at email.com> wrote:

>If the vowel were [I], as you suggest, Tom,  then why was it sometimes written <e>? 
I am using [I] to label a vowel which lay between [i] and [E].  Perhaps I should have used /e/, since the phonemic notation absolves one of the need to specify realizations. 
>Surely [I] would have been written <i> or <y>. 
Not necessarily.  The scribes were not trained phoneticians.
>For the vowel to be sometimes written <e>, the vowel would have to be even lower than [I], but not as low as [e]. 
Perhaps it was.  The point is it was phonemically distinct from /i/ and /E/.
>What might perhaps be more plausible is a phoneme /I_o/ with allophones [I] and [e].
Such a phoneme is more conveniently labelled /I/.

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