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Consonants and sonorant as vowels

From:Karapcik, Mike <karapcm@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 2, 2002, 13:43
| -----Original Message-----
| From: julien eychenne
| Subject: Consonants and sonorants as vowels
| Well, I was wondering about strange vowels we can find in
| some natural languages, such as sonorants (e.g. /r, l, m,
| n.../)  and above all consonants : I've heard of (african)
| languages which use sounds like /s, z/ as vowels.
| Julien

        To my knowledge:

Czech: Czech can use n, r, and rx (r-hachek) as syllabic vowels. I believe l
and s can also be used. The last name of the author of my English/Czech
dictionary is "Trnka".
        In Czech, a syllabic r is pronounced with a heavy trill.
        While I can't confirm it, it seems to me that whatever works in
Czech also works in Slavic, and usually in Polish.

Yoruba: I've only skimmed my first and second year Yoruba texts, but Yoruba
(the major language of Nigeria) uses high, middle, and low tones. Yoruba
tones all seven vowels, as well as the letter n. I've also seen several
words where n (with a tone) is the "vowel" of the first syllable, or the
first letter followed by a consonant. (I only noticed the vowel-n in the
first syllable.)

Georgian: "Vowels are the Devil's playground!"   ;-)
        Georgian is rather infamous for its consonant clusters.

        I also have a pfd file "hdo_unusual.pdf", which is about unusual and
long consonant clusters. I can't find it with a search engine, but I got it
from a web site someone posted here. (Anyone else have that site?)


Pavel Iosad <pavel_iosad@...>