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Lateral fricatives (was: Names of Latin alphabet letters)

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Saturday, January 27, 2001, 12:24
At 10:45 pm +0000 26/1/01, And Rosta wrote:
>Ray: >> Even more strange is the pronunciation used by some in England when >> attempting to pronounce the Welsh lateral fricative {ll}; they 'hear' >> (incorrectly) it as /xl/ and say [kl] ! > >Speaking as an eminent Livagianist, I don't find it at all strange. >Livagian /xl/ (<khl>) and /Gl/ (<ghl>) are normally pronounced as >voiceless and voiced lateral fricatives.
But that's straightforward assimilation: voiceless (velar) fricative + lateral --> voiceless lateral fricative; voiced (velar) fricative + lateral --> voiced lateral fricative. This could happen whether the fricative were dental, alveolar, labial or whatever. Like you, I do not find this at all strange; indeed, I'm fairly certain such developments are attested in natlangs. Likewise, the not uncommon dissimilation that some adopt when trying to pronounce Welsh [K] {ll} does not strike me as strange; e.g. in Shakespeare we meet [K] --> [fl] in Flewellyn, and one English version of Welsh _llwyd_ is the surname Floyd. I've heard people pronounce the first sound in Llan- as [Tl], [xl] and [hl]; these are not remarkable; friction is retained. The single voiceless lateral fricative has just be dissimilated into a voiceless fricative + lateral combo; and such combos are common enough in English (tho [xl] and [hl] themselves are not). What I find strange is: voicless lateral _fricative_ --> voiceless plosive + fricative [kl] i.e. all friction is lost. BTW I also find the SAMPA use of [K] to ASCIIfy the IPA belted-l symbol a strange way to denote the voiceless lateral fricative a strange choice. Does anyone know why was [K] chosen. All that [K] suggests is voicelessness; it suggests neither friction nor lateralness. The use of [K\] to denote the _voiced_ lateral fricative is IMO even less satisfactory. The real IPA symbol, l-ezh ligature, at least is a fair indication of the sound since it does, indeed, sound like [Z] and [l] pronounced simultaneously. Of all the suggestions for the ASCCIIfication of these sounds I like best Philip Jonsson's suggestions of of [l^S] and [l^Z] respectively. Ray. ========================================= A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language. [J.G. Hamann 1760] =========================================