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Re: Other Vulgar Latins?

From:David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 21, 2006, 19:24
Charlie wrote:
I couldn't believe my ears (somewhat literally) when I first became
aware of this.  I thought I was hearing wrong.  "I fink."  And I'm
positive the little girl in the new Narnia movie (great movie!) uses
[f] in that way.

What could possibly be the cause of this confusion?

They're both low-turbulence voiceless fricatives.  If you're looking
at someone's mouth while they say it, it's pretty obvious, but if not,
it's easy to be confused.  Plus, all other fricatives in English are
distinct from one another, in terms of sound quality (e.g., [h] has no
constriction in the mouth, so sounds very different; [S] is often
accompanied by lip rounding giving it two constrictions [or one-and-a-
half] instead of one; [s] is extremely high-turbulence and easily
from all the rest).  And since there probably aren't that many minimal
pairs with [f] and [T] ("thigh" and "fie", as in "Fie on you!";
"thought" and
"fought"), it sounds like a perfectly cromulent place for the two to

As for [T] > [f], and not [f] > [T], I believe [f] is easier to
It certainly is far more common cross-linguistically, and current
linguistic theory wants us to believe that that isn't an accident.

"A male love inevivi i'ala'i oku i ue pokulu'ume o heki a."
"No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn."

-Jim Morrison


Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>