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Re: A question on palatalization.

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Thursday, January 2, 2003, 16:09
Quoting michael poxon <m.poxon@...>:

> Part of the problem lies in the symbol, which can't help but suggest the > idea that this one phoneme is a coalescence of two. I much prefer the > American version of c+hacek, and j+hacek for /dZ/. As far as I know, > the existence of /tS/ has nothing to do with /S/ at all.
Although you're right that the use of two tied symbols for one phoneme has more to do with politics -- the IPA was invented mostly by francophones -- there are sound reasons (if you'll pardon the pun) for treating it that way. [t] is a [-continuant] segment, and [S] is a [+continuant] segment. Some languages have rules whereby [tS] behaves on one side as [-cont] and on the other as [+cont], as if there were "really" two segments underlyingly, even though in these same languages there is clear evidence for the phonemic status of /tS/.
> Mind you, there are a lot of languages with > skewed phonologies (Omeina has turned out to have one: no /p/ /f/ or /v/ > but /b/ and /m/ - a very short labial group!)
Indeed. In Atkan Aleut, the only reason for any labials of any kind is borrowing from Russian and English. Ditto for Onondaga, mutatis mutandis. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637