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Mystery Phoneme

From:Caleb Hines <cph9fa@...>
Date:Tuesday, December 16, 2003, 21:17
What would you call the following sound. I made it up, and am thinking
about using it in Akathanu.

In contrast to a normal /t/ which is made with the tip of the tonge above
and behind the upper teeth, the mystery sound is produced by bracing the
tip of the tongue behind the lower teeth and raising the middle of the
tongue to the same point that the tip would touch in a normal /t/ (or maybe
slightly further back). The resulting sound is softer than /t/, and sounds
slightly different in spoken speech. It is still a voiceles stop,
articulated in roughly the same place as /t/, but with a different part of
the tongue. Is there such a thing, or is there any reason to believe that a
human natlang might have this sound as distinct from /t/ (or is it even a
case of ANADEW?). Has anyone else used it in a conlang?

Lacking better terminology, I'm calling it an "antiretroflex t" (retroflexs
curl the tongue upward, in this sound, the tongue curls downward). Come to
think of it, you could also have a whole series of "antiretroflexes",
including an "antiretroflex" d and n.


PS - I just realized that since "retro-" means backwards and its opposite
is "pro-", perhaps a better term than "antiretroflex" would be "proflex"?
(Using the same distinction made, for example, in orbital directions:
"prograde" vs "retrograde").

OTOH, "antiretroflex" sounds alot cooler (IMO) than "proflex"! :-)


Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>
Eddy Ohlms <etg@...>
Florian Rivoal <florian.rivoal@...>