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Re: Unilang: the Phonotactics

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Thursday, April 19, 2001, 19:15
At 6:25 pm -0400 18/4/01, David Peterson wrote:
>In a message dated 4/18/01 9:00:29 AM, hr_oskar@HOTMAIL.COM writes: > ><< I don't actually know why we have some kind of antipathy to alveolar + > >lateral combinations; they exist (in my own natlang, for instance), but > >they're rare, so I disallow them here. Anybody here who has a sensible > >explanation? >> > > My guess (if guessing's allowed) is that with an ell (I'm just calling it >that) you can't remove your tongue from the alveolar position. So, if you >try to pronounce [tl] or [dl] you'll probably end up with a voiceless/voiced >lateral approximant, or an affricate with a [t] and a voiceless lateral >approximant, or something like it.
Well, the Welsh manage to do neither! Welsh has, as probably everyone knows, a voiceless lateral fricative spelled {ll} (SAMPA [K]). But it also has initial /tl/ and /dl/ (e.g. tlawd "poor", tlodi "poverty", tlws "jewel", tlysni "beauty" - /dl/ occurs when these words undergo soft mutation) which are pronounced [tl_0] and [dl] respectively, i.e. the initial plosives remain and there is no shifting of the lateral from approximant to fricative. In fact /dl/ is not uncommon in French, cf. /dlo/ "water" (de l'eau). Ancient Greek certainly had initial /tl/, /dl/ and /thl/ and I'm pretty sure these combos occur initially in several modern languages. But I do agree they are far less common than combos of non-dental & non-alveolar plosives + /l/. In fact, they seem often to become velar+/l/, cf. Vulgar Latin /vEklu/ <-- /wetlu-/ <-- uetulu(m). In "sub-standard" English one may hear 'bottle' promounced /bQkl=/ (tho /bQ?l=/ is now more common). But the reverse change occasionly happens. In certain Yorshire dialects, apparently, /gl/ --> /dl/ so that e.g. _gloom_ was pronounced [dlu:m] (I suspect universal education & mass media has now made such pronunciations obsolete :=( Ray. The only other way to do it, as I see,
>would be to have a velar lateral rather than an alveolar lateral, because >[tL] and [dL] are pretty easy for me. > >-David
========================================= A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language. [J.G. Hamann 1760] =========================================


And Rosta <a.rosta@...>dl (was: RE: Unilang: the Phonotactics)
Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>dl (was: RE: Unilang: the Phonotactics)