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  • Emilce Rees

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

The poor archi-phoneme has died a death - and I have been meaning to resurrect him since Xmas. My idea is based on the fact that there is no minimal contrast involving the Spanish phonemes for N - /m/,

/n/ and /ɲ/ - the latter palatal nasal.

These are the common features in a neutralisation - if the distinction between them (here the 3 of them) - then a new sub-species is born: the archi-allo-phone.

See (and I quote)

Thus /N/ in Spanish has five allophones (i.e. five for which separate IPA symbols exist). These are [m], [ɱ], [n], [ɲ] and [ŋ]. Which of these actually occurs in a given context is determined entirely by the principle of assimilation.

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