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Re: Which is simpler: /y/ or /iw/?

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Friday, June 6, 2008, 6:25
>Paul Bennett wrote: >> I'm having yet another round of re-thinking about Uinlistka phonology. >> >> Old Norse has /y/, /2/, and /Q/. >> A number of Algonquian languages have /iw/, /ew/, and /Aw/. > >Which series is simpler to pronounce is, I think, dependent upon one's >own liguistic background. In languages that normally have [y] and [2] >(or similar rounded front vowels), such as French or German, then I >guess the Old Norse sounds will seem simpler (more especially so if >one's L1 doesn't have [w]).
Front rounded vowels are a strongly Northern Eurasian areal feature, tho... Uinlitska being surrounded by only languages for which this feature is alien, unless it's in a strongly acrolectal position, I would expect the difthongs to 'win' here. Or even the rounding to just disappear?
>French is a most notable example. In Old French we find a very rich >system of falling diphthongs and, indeed, a few triphthongs which >developed from simple vowels of Vulgar Latin. But this whole system has >no gone. The transition from Old French to modern French has seem >drastic reduction of the old falling diphthongs and triphthongs to >simple vowels. A most notable one is the reduction of _eau_ /j&w/ to >[o]. (There's one example of the falling [Qj] giving rise to the rising >[wa] of modern French - but that is a lone example). > >Ray
BTW, how do you figure it's [Qj], not [oj], giv'n that it developed from [ej] (with a mid first element) and to [wa] (with a high first element)? John Vertical