Will a cognitive linguist criticize this, please?
Some dialectal features can be viewed as production rules. Individuals in certain areas tend to have these production rules, while outsiders don't. This account also explains second-language hypercorrection effects.
to be written
/haus/ ("Haus") -plural-> /heuzer/ ("Häuser") -> [hoizer]
Portuguese in Brazil
In Brazil there are two independent, regional phonological phenomena, that interact with each other. This divides the country in 4 parts, providing us with a perfect combinatorial design for testing our hypothesis.
Phonemes in Brazil:Raising
Raising is the dominant rule, in Portugal as well as in Brazil. Raising makes:
/bate/ -> /báti/
Other regions lost raising, due to Italian influence
/bate/ -> /báte/Affrication: /ti/ -> [tshi], /di/->/dzhi/
e.g. /tia/ -> [tshia]
Affrication did not come from Africa, but from local Indian languages. The plosives /t/ and /d/ become the affricates [tsh] and [dzh], when followed by an [i]. This is similar to what is observed in Japanese ESL students, and possible something in history of US English (the word "Acadian" somehow became "Cajun").
This rule probably had the majority of Brazil by 1920, despite resistance in the Northeast. The Italian immigration
to the South of the country probably erased the affrication rule in some places in São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul.
The results I expect:
Looking at different regional pronunciations:
Raising +, Affrication +: [bátshi] (Rio, Salvador, most of SP)
Raising +, Affrication -: [báti] (Recife)
Raising -, Affrication +: [báte] (some speakers in SP, RS)
Raising -, Affrication -: [báte] (some speakers in SP, RS)
When there is no raising, the affrication rule does not apply to the word "bate". We conclude from this that the affrication production only gets executed after the raising production.
Of course, it might be the case that these phonemes are incommensurable. Maybe speakers of different dialects are not thinking of the same phoneme. But I'd like to avoid going too deep into philosophy here.