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Re: Linguistics: Final /?/ and /h/

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 21, 2005, 5:55
On Monday, June 20, 2005, at 12:04 , Joe wrote:

> Roger Mills wrote: > >> Rob Haden wrote: >> >> >>> Recently I discussed word-final /?/ and /h/ with someone on another >>> list. >>> We were talking about how common those phonemes are in word-final >>> position. I argued that they are not very common cross-linguistically, >>> but >>> the other person said that they are. Does anyone know here? >>> >>> >>> >> My gut feeling would be that /?/ is probably "fairly common", /h/ much >> less >> so, but I couldn't really cite any statistics. >> >> >> >> > > In most colloquial English dialects in England, word-final [?] is quite > common (though it is only an allophone of /t/).
This is very true - I was going to mention that, till I noticed the question about phonemic /?/. But Joe's observation does seem relevant to me. If in are commonly spoken language - Brit English - [?] occurs in final positions as an allophone of /t/, then surely it suggests that there is no reason at all for a language that actually has /?/ not to pronounce it in final position (assuming it allows consonants to be used at the end of syllables). ================================================== On Monday, June 20, 2005, at 02:12 , Steven Williams wrote: [snip]
> Don't many dialects of Arabic have final [?] and [h]?
Yes - in fact, I thought they all did.
> I know with reasonable certainty that the final [h] is > pronounced, however weakly, in standard Arabic, and I > don't see why any dialect with hamza shouldn't > pronounce it syllable-finally...
There is no reason and AFAIK they all do. ============================================= On Monday, June 20, 2005, at 04:42 , Roger Mills wrote: [snip]
> My gut feeling would be that /?/ is probably "fairly common", /h/ much > less > so, but I couldn't really cite any statistics.
That is my gut feeling also. I know of languages such as English & german that restrict /h/ to syllable initial position only, altho they allow most other consonants in syllable final & word final position. But none of the languages I can think of that have /?/ _and_ allow consonants in syllable final position make an exception for /?/. Languages like Somoan of course are not relevant here, since altho it does have /?/, it does not allow _any_ consonant at the of syllables. Ray =============================================== =============================================== "A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760