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Devoicing of initial consonants

From:Y.Penzev <isaacp@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 23, 2002, 7:42
Shalom to everybody!

While looking for material for my Conlang Project-16 (yes, that's a
provisional name for any conlang concept that gets into my mind), I
analysed a bit of Dravidian (Tamil) phonology and liked the idea of a small
set of consonant phonemes realized in many positional allophonic variants.
E.g., /k/ is realized as [k], [g] or [x] etc.
So I got an idea to have allophonic richness in P-16. But how to formulate
the rules of realization? I wanted smth special, and decided to try to
imitate the Russian (and German) rule of devoicing final voiced consonants
by applying it to the inicial consonants too. Still there is a question --
Does any natlang have INITIAL devoicing of consonants?

The principle can be illustrated like this:
/tun/ [tUn] 'house' -- /itun/ [it"tUn] 'the house'
/dan/ [tan] 'group (of people)' -- /idan/ [i"Dan] 'the group (of people)'

Comments are welcomed.


Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>