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Nasalized fricatives ...

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Thursday, December 2, 2004, 14:50
I was reviewing Meghean phonlogy earlier today, and it occured to me that a
series of nasalized fricatives [B~ D~ G~] would be quite the thing to make
would-be learners pull their hair out. They'd occure as initial mutations of
nasal stops, which as an added bonus means the definite form would be less
dysfunctional (indef and def would then only coalesce for words beginning in /s
l r j w i e/).

Now, this is a non-human (Elvish) language, so I don't care too much about
violating universals and anadewistic precedent (the lang's got [e] and [o] but
no [E] or [O], which is apparently already quite unusual), but I'd anyway like
to know if there's any natlang out there with phonemic nasalized fricatives.
The only lang I can recall hearing of it in is Sindarin, which, in archaic
stages, had a sound described as "fricative m" or "nasal v" - this must mean
[v~] or [B~] (very possibly both along the way, since the starting point was [m]
and the end result [v]).

Words in which the little monsters would occur include _mhedh_ [B~eD] "the elf",
_nhagh_ [D~aG] "the dwarf"*, and _nhoch_ [G~ox] "the day". By parallel to the
development of oral stops, one'd also expect them to occur medially in some
words, but I think I'll stomp that out with a bit of merging and leveling.

* It's actually completely by accident that the words for "elf" and "dwarf" are
so phonetically parallel - I hadn't realized it till I was writing this mail.
The words _pera_ "human" and _taea_ "orc" (definite forms _phera_ [Pera] and
_thaea_ [Taja]) - the two other humanoid species of this coniverse - don't
follow the same pattern.

Meghean vocabulary of the day:
Verb _guth_ "to die", related noun _guthu_ "death", irreg pl _gunt_.

Consociolinguistic item of the day:
The phrase _guthu magel_, lit "evil death", a death for which someone bears
responsibility and must be punished. Includes murder, manslaughter, death by
criminal neglect, that sort of thing.



Chris Bates <chris.maths_student@...>
Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>