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Re: Sound Change Susceptibility

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Friday, November 7, 2003, 6:25
On Wednesday, November 5, 2003, at 08:39 PM, Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:

> At 22:00 4.11.2003, John Cowan wrote: > >> > 2.) They could devoice, if voiced. Nasals don't have a salient >> voiceless >> > counterpart, so they have nothing to devoice to. While it's entirely >> possible, >> > it's highly unlikely in initial environment, because what would cause >> such a >> > devoicing? >> >> In Welsh, I believe it's a final -s in the preceding word that has been >> lost >> that does the devoicing (and aspiration). > > Not in the case of nasals.
Indeed not - I must've missed this one when John wrote it.
> Welsh voiceless nasals come from *mp, *nt, *nk.
Whether they're really voiceless nasals is arguable. The nasals concerned - mh /m_h/, nh /n_h/, ngh /N_h/ - have marked aspiration as an off glide. The Old English |hn| cannot have been the same as modern Welsh |nh|, otherwise the spelling of the Old English would've been as crazy as that of modern English! It's noteworthy that, unlike |ll| and |rh|, the combos |mh|, |nh| and |ngh| are _not_ regarded as separate 'letters' in Welsh ( |ng| is BTW regarded as a separate letter; it's placed between |g| and |h|). The aspiration does, of course, cause some devoicing of the nasal.
> Don't know the details.
Basically as you said. It's the counter part of what happens with voiced plosives: /mb/ --> /m/, /nd/ --> /n/, /Ng/ --> /N/ /mp/ --> /m_h/, /nt/ --> /n_h/, /Nk/ --> /N_h/ For example: fy(n) /v@(n)/ "my" brawd 'brother' ~ fy mrawd 'my brother' dosbarth 'class' ~ fy nosbarth 'my class' gardd 'garden' ~ fy ngardd /v@'NarD/ 'my garden' pen 'head' ~ fy mhen 'my head' tad 'father' ~ fy nhad 'my father' ci /ki/ 'dog' ~ fy nghi 'my dog' Ray =============================================== (home) (work) ===============================================