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Initial /sp/ vs. /ps/ (Was: Comparison of philosophical languages)

From:James Landau <neurotico@...>
Date:Friday, January 24, 2003, 1:12
In a message dated 1/22/2003 11:56:46 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
yonjuuni@EARTHLINK.NET writes:

> James Landau wrote: > > You remind me of my little brother! Except he always did it at the > > beginning of words. When Alex was three or four, he used to say > > "psot" instead of "spot" or "psace" for "space". > > Well, stop-fricative sequences are more natural at the beginning of a > syllable than fricative-stop sequences. PIE just happened to be an > oddball that allowed s+stop sequences in initial positions (and a number > of IE langs have lost those /sk/ /sp/ /st/ clusters, often thru > epenthesis)
¿Como el estado actual en español, especialmente? I guess you're thinking of affricates when you say that. Now that I think of it, affricates (which IIRC some people were calling the Greek "ks"/"x" (xi) and "ps" as well) fit that pattern, while the fricative-before-stop beginning is confined to the /sk/, /sp/, /st/ group in longtime-English words (although Yiddish and Italian give us more recent examples with "spiel", "schtick", "sgraffito" and other /S/ and /z/ words). As for my brother's "pseech" impediment, my mother went to see a "psecialist" about this and she said that this was actually a pretty common reversal in children. (She was also worried about his playing around with syllable reversal earlier in his development, he'd say "ma-mee, ma-mee" and t hen play around with "mee-ma, mee-ma", which the specialist also said was common.) It sounds like this must be a universal among children who are learning to speak, facing learned languages and starting out with more "natural" combinations. In case you're wondering, Alex outgrew this a long time ago. ObConlang: The Kankonian dictionary lists words beginning with dz, dzh, ks, ps, psh, tsh, tz (treated as a single phoneme and letter of the alphabet in Kankonian), sk, sp, st, shp, shph (where "ph" is a repeated "p" turned into a raspberry sound), sht and zg (well, ONE zg word). Among the words beginning with ps- are: psetan: leak, to leak psetzibi: wasp psimaki: substance


Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>