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Re: [X] vs. [x]

From:Danny Wier <dawiertx@...>
Date:Saturday, March 27, 2004, 13:47
From: "Paul Roser" <pkroser@...>

> I think you're right about East Caucasian in general - Agul is a special > case - but Karbardian (and Adyghe) definitely makes the distinction (and > also have labialized dorsals and a pharyngeal - /x, x^w, X, X^w, H/), and
> think that it is just one dialect of Abkhaz that makes the distinction,
> I don't have the info here at work. > >
You're right, it does. The source I had was incorrect, or I overlooked something. The case with Circassian (Kabardian-Adyghe) is that /G/ and /x/ are found, but not /g/ and /k/ except in loanwords. (Ubykh likewise, and it also lacked /k_>/ outside of loanwords from Circassian).
> In Cyrillic <x> is velar, <x>+<tvordij znak*> is uvular. I think the hard > sign - the one that looks like a lower case b with a leftward serif - is > tvordij znak, but it's been two decades or more since I actually studied > Russian.
Considering the rarity of _tvjordnoje znak_ in Russian itself, the frequent presence of the sign in any Cyrillic-written language, which is indeed _mjaxkje znak_ "soft sign" with a leftward serif, is a strong signal that one is dealing with a Caucasian language here. The conventions are as such: g-hard sign = /R/ (rarely /G/) k-hard sign = /q/ l-hard sign = /K/ (or /tK/) x-hard sign = /X/ But Ossete uses this sign to indicate ejectivity; Caucasian uses something resembling a capital I.
> You might be right, but I'd have to check. But it's not the case for all > languages in that region - I believe Bella Coola/Nuxalk also has the > distinction (Nater uses the symbols <c> and <x> for velar and uvular > respectively).
That's odd; I would expect <c> to be used for /ts/; why not <ç> (c-cedilla) for /x/, or <x> for /x/ and <x-caron> for /X/?


John Cowan <cowan@...>