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Re: poly-rhotics (was: Chinese Dialect Question)

From:Jeff Jones <jeffsjones@...>
Date:Friday, October 3, 2003, 21:22
On Fri, 3 Oct 2003 06:16:40 +0100, Ray Brown <ray.brown@...> wrote:
> >On Thursday, October 2, 2003, at 06:42 , Roger Mills wrote: > >[snip] >> Some Dravidian languages (and I think Proto Drav.) have 3, dental, >> alveolar >> and retroflex. > >Don't know about Proto Drav, but certainly some (most?) modern Dravidian >langs have these three. > >> Malayo-Polynesian languages allow the reconstruction of at least two, >> one symbolized *r (presumably dental/alv.), the other *R (presumably a >> velar). > >Yes, having two rhotics is not so uncommon. Three is less common, but >certainly well enough attested. If I've remembered correctly about Irish >Gaelic, then we have at least one example of four, and I don't imagine it >would be unique. > >So if a conlang is to "out-cool" natlangs on rhotics, it's got to have >more than a paltry three. > >You could have, I guess, at least eight :-) > dental alveolar retroflex uvular >voiced 1 2 3 4 > >unvoiced/ 5 6 7 8 >aspirated > >Can't think of any neat way of representing them in the Roman alphabet.
Rubaga can have up to 7 phonetically (depending on dialect/accent): alveolar retroflex uvular voiced 2 3 4 flap 9 unvoiced/ 6 7 8 aspirated {R} is used for 2, 3, and 9; 9 occurs (if it occurs!) only in onset clusters. 6 and 7 are written {tr} and come from [T] + r. The alveolars and retroflexes are complementary with 2 or 6 before written front vowels and 3 or 7 otherwise. I don't make any consistent distinction between alveolar or retroflex for the flap, so I'm counting it only once. 4 is written {g} and 8 is written {c}; both of these can be fricatives. The name of the language itself uses 2 rhotics. Jeff
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