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Re: /W/ without /w/?

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Saturday, November 13, 2004, 6:43
From:    "Adam F." <hypaholic@...>
> English (at least where I live) has the voiced bilabial approximant, and > historically English also had a voiceless bilabial approximant.
Do you mean approximant? In all dialects I know of that still preserve a contrast between <w> and <wh>, the latter is a voiceless bilabial fricative, not an approximant. (True voiceless approximants are *very* marked, if not nonexistent.)
> Some > dialects still preserve this in words like 'white' and 'which'. So, I > think it is highly possible that a language could just have a voiceless > labial-velar approximant.
This doesn't really follow, since the language in question also has [w]. The question was whether there is really some implicational universal a la Greeberg "if [W] then also [w]", and I know of no language that violates this universal. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637