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Re: Idiolect Sound Change, or Broader Usage? n# > m#

From:João Ricardo de Mendonça <somnicorvus@...>
Date:Tuesday, October 25, 2005, 0:49
On 10/18/05, Patrick Littell <puchitao@...> wrote:
> > Someone who speaks Portuguese might be able to comment. Consider the > alternation "homem" ~ "homens", in which the word-final /n/ in *homen > becomes [m] (I dunno whether synchronically or diachronically.) >
Well, I do speak Portuguese. :-) As correctly pointed out by Thomas Wier, the <m> at the end of a word is an orthographic convention to indicate that the preceding vowel is nasalized. It is not pronounced. In Brazil, the most usual pronunciation for "homem" would be ['o~me~j~]. I believe this is the most common in Portugal as well. The same holds for the plural form "homens". The <n> is not pronounced. It is changed from <m> to <n> because of a rule on the standard orthography that says that <m> can only precede <p> and <b> In my dialect (Northeastern Brazilian), even nasals on the end of syllables that are not word-final tend not to be pronounced. For example, in "canto", "corner", which I pronounce ['kãtu] João Ricardo de Mendonça