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.
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