Date: Wed, 13 Sep 1995 10:39:50 CDT


Subject: Re: Pronounciation of Oxymoron -Reply

Yes, Sali, clearly constructs such as 'dialect' are real, as are

observable patterns of behavior of all sorts. Individuals have neurons

that do something physical when they speak, as well as when they understand

language. That's the "reality" I was referring to. One's concept

of a neuron may be a construct, but a neuron is a concrete physical

entity. Likewise the size and contour of the vocal tract is "real" and

surely plays a part in the production of speech -- as well as the musculature

in the chest and larynx that is activated as syllables are produced.

The "reality of the phoneme" is another instance of something that is

real, though probably with no single, specifiable physical locus. Here I'm

thinking of the 1920s or 30s article (by Sapir?). DMLance