Editor for this issue: Dan Parker
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I am working in Nigeria on the virtually unstudied Irigwe language and would like to know more about thinking on languages with numerous rare phonemes. Irigwe has probably ca. 100 phonemes in C1 position once labialisation, palatalisation, preglottalisation [!] and combinations thereof are taken into account. However, many of these occur in only three or four words and can often only be established by a single contrastive pair. This is a consequence of the morphophonology, where plural nouns and verbs are formed by palatalisation and labialisation and CV prefixes have merged with stems. So the question is whether you regard these rare sounds as simply 'odd' sounds or as legitimate parts of the phonological system which happen to be rare and do not meet the usual requirements for evidence of contrast. I assume there must be similar problems for Khoesan?