Are [ɪ] and [i] are allophones of the same phoneme in English?

I am leaning towards no, but would like confirmation and perhaps an example to illustrate. Answer The short answer is no. In English, the phones [ɪ] and [i] are not just allophones of a single phoneme. There are many minimal pairs like “bit-beat”, “shit-sheet”, “bitch-beach” that establish that [ɪ] and [i] (in a usual English … Read more

/ɪə/, /eə/, /ʊə/ as phonemes?

From what I understand on phonetics/phonology, /ɪə/, /eə/, /ʊə/ can simply be considered as allophones of /ɪr/, /er/, /ʊr/, but most traditional dictionaries treat them as distinct phonemes. Is that just a learners’ dictionary thing (to denote the clear phonetic differences between major dialects, rhotic or not, etc.) for the sake of convenience or is … Read more

Difference between word-final iː, i and ɪ

As we know, English usually contrasts the two high front vowels /i:/ and /ɪ/, and many different minimal pairs exist for this (e.g. /sli:p/ vs /slɪp/). However, at the end of a word, we usually have neither /ɪ/ nor /i:/, but /i/ (e.g. /sɪti/). For a long time, I believed that this was, effectively, a … Read more

Which does English “l” and “r” sound come under, an allophone or different phonemes?

I was very much embarrassed when I was pointed out by ELU Senpai that I made a great mistake by misspelling ‘Mod election’ as ‘Mod erection’ during ELU chat. We Japanese often make a silly mistake of mixing ‘l’ and ‘r’ characters and sound in writing and speaking, as we don’t have ‘r’ sound. We … Read more

Why do the first and last “t” in “taste” sound different?

When I listened to the audio pronunciation of “taste” /teɪst/, I noticed that the first and last “t” sound different: the first “t” sounds like [tʰ] while the second one sounds more like [tsʰ]. Words that end with /t/ such as “it” and “act” also has this [tsʰ] sound. However, words ending with /k/ or … Read more