Ad astra per alia porci (paulistano) wrote in linguaphiles,
Ad astra per alia porci

Phoneme vs Allophones

So, I'm trying to convince my non-linguistically inclined friend that "tree" starts with a /t/ phoneme and not /tʃ/. I've tried explaining that the /tʃ/ is just an expression of /t/ because of the coarticulation with the subsequent /r/, but he's just not getting it.

He accepts that /t/ has different expressions depending on where it comes in a word: "tub" vs "stub" for instance, but he says that the /tʃ/ in "tree" is just so far away from what he thinks a /t/ should sound like, that he doesn't buy it's a /t/.

Does anyone have a good way of explaining this to someone who doesn't have a linguistic background?

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