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Georgian phonology [was Re: About Hebrew Emphatics]

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 8, 2004, 5:57
From:    Danny Wier <dawiertx@...>
> From: "Trebor Jung" <treborjung@... > > Danny wrote: > > > > > "What was your first? For me it was Georgian, which has p>, t>, ts>, tS>, > > > k>, k>w, q> and q>w (one dialect, or one in another Kartvelian language, > > > might also have a palatized version of ts>, but I don't know for sure). > > > > I didn't know Georgian had labialized consonants... Do you mean Abkhaz? > > It depends on how you interpret the phonology. Orthodoxically, Georgian > doesn't have labialized consoants, and /v/ is considered a separate phoneme. > But /v/ becomes [w] after consonants, and it is very common after velars and > uvulars.
But this has nothing to do with the underlying representation. The realization of /v/ as labialization on the preceding consonant in an onset is a kind of regular allophonic variation. (See below)
> Also, Georgian has a whole set of harmonic clusters involving a > labial or alveolar stop, or alveolar or postalveolar affricate, followed by > a velar or uvular stop with the same voicing-ejectivity status; this cluster > can also be followed by /v/, which again has the value of [w]. > (Read Chapter 46 of _Phonologies of Asia and Africa: Vol. 1 and 2, Alan S. > Kaye, editor, for more info, or better yet, go here: > > < > GEO&doctype=phon&scale=six&version=1&allpages=1.)>
Actually, I was speaking to Howie Aroson, who wrote this article you are citing, about this very topic of harmonic clusters (which you are presumably using as evidence for /v/ being not a separate phoneme but a secondary feature) not three weeks ago in the class he was teaching on Old Georgian. He does not, nor did he ever, mean to suggest that harmonic clusters were synchronically in Georgian (old or modern) actual unit phonemes. He does note that some people have suggested this for a very remote reconstruction of the protolanguage, but this is not meant to apply to any attested period of the language. For all attested periods of the language, harmonic clusters are to be interpreted more as constraints on root structure. By doing so, we can greatly simplify and unify the behavior of root shapes to just (C)(C)(v)(V) (up to two consonants and /v/ and optionally a vowel). But this has nothing synchronically to do with the phonetic allomorphy that you were discussing above. ========================================================================= 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