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Re: final obstruent devoicing

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Monday, March 25, 2002, 21:22
En réponse à Andreas Johansson <and_yo@...>:

> > Surely French has final voiced obstuents in words like _grande_? >
Yep! French doesn't devoice its final consonants. It has a phenomenon of devoicing with final 'd' (so your example is interesting), but it's quite different. The final 'd' of 'grand' (big, masculine) is normally not pronounced, except when the following word begins with a vowel, in which case it's pronounced [t] (we say 'un grand homme': [9~gRa~'tOm]). But when it's feminine ('grande'), the final 'd' is always pronounced, and always pronounced [d]. So this devoicing is quite different from what happens in German (though it could have a common origin. After all, although the final 'e' is not pronounced anymore, it used to be a clear schwa). My guess would be that Old and/or Middle French devoiced their final consonants, but by the loss of final schwas final voiced consonants were reintroduced. Christophe. Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.