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Initial Glottal Stops and Not (was: Futurese)

From:Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
Date:Tuesday, April 30, 2002, 19:11
On Mon, 29 Apr 2002 18:49:42 -0400 Javier BF <uaxuctum@...> writes:
> >Otherwise it'd seem you couldn't distinguish, in spoken language, > between > >f'rinstance /'a/ and /a/.
> Well, certainly that must be a difficult difference to > distinguish, since it's very rarely encountered: of all the > sound systems I'm familiar with--and you can bet they're not > just two or three--, only in some Polynesian languages do > they distinguish between /?a/ and /a/. Anywhere else, either > vowels are forbidden in initial position (think of Arabic) > or the glottal stop is not considered a phoneme (think of > German, which automatically places a glottal stop before > every syllable-initial vowel).
- Actually, i'm pretty sure that Arabic accepts vowels in initial position. That's the difference between initial {alif} and initial {alif-hamza}. The initial {alif-hamza} represents /?a/, /?i/, /?u/, and their long counterparts (although /?a:/ has its own unique marker), which are never elided (for instance [wa?aktubu] "and i write"), while plain initial {alif} represents /a/, /i/, /u/ which are not preceded by a glottal stop, and which therefore can get elided, especially the definite marker {alif-laam} |al|: /alGurfa(t)/ = 'the room' /fii alGurfa(t)/ = 'in the room', pronounced [filGurfa(t)] My conlang Rokbeiglamki also has contrastive intial vowels and glottal-stops + vowels, but it only really makes a difference in distinguishing between the conjunction "and" |i| /i/, and the female prefix |i-| /?i/: /i mald/ |i mald| = "and a human" /?i mald/ |i-mald| = "a woman" -Stephen (Steg) "they love you when you're on all the covers, when you're not then they love another." ~ 'the dope show' by marilyn manson