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Re: Question about word-initial velar nasal

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Monday, October 25, 2004, 22:10
Roger Mills scripsit:

> > > Incidentally, what languages _do_ allow /N/ initally? Offhand, I can > > > only think of Vietnamese and Tibetan, and it's a tricky thing to look > > > up. > > > > Thai is one that comes to mind, as well as Cantonese. It looks like > > Indonesian also has a few words with initial ng-. I'm sure there must be > > others; I assume that Nganasan, at least, is pronounced with an initial > > /N/ or /Ng/. > > Many Indonesian/Philippine/Oceanic languages have /N-/; not many of the > forms are reconstructible all the way back, however.
Middle Chinese had /N-/, and several Sinitic languages retain it, although in Mandarin it's become /w-/. It makes me wonder about a possible Sino-Tibetan/Austronesian/Tai-Kadai Sprachbund effect, along with the more well-known ones. -- "And it was said that ever after, if any John Cowan man looked in that Stone, unless he had a great strength of will to turn it to other purpose, he saw only two aged hands withering in flame." --"The Pyre of Denethor"


Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>