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Re: Tendencies of Sound Changes?

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Monday, April 3, 2006, 7:40
>I was thinking more in terms of the Austronesian family, where it is common >(and they represent a fairly large % of the world's languages)-- many >Polynesian lgs., and assorted lgs. in the Indonesian area.
I noticed. But language families tend to have their own small-scale tendencies - I thought this thread was after more universal tendencies instead.
> > By "loss" I mean the loss of the whole phoneme, while leaving the rest >of > > the stops in place. > >Hmm, I didn't interpret that as "total loss". So unless /b/ actually merges >with some other phoneme in the system (resulting in loss of a contrast), >the >shifts b > B/v/w simply replace one phoneme with a new one.
No, I didn't mean "total loss of contrast" either. I guess the terminology is a bit ambiguous here. Anyway, the question remains: are there really numerous languages that have shifted /b/ to, say, /B/ universally? I'm sure you have one or two examples, but these could be just random exceptions. Meanwhile /p/ > something else universally has happened in more than just one language family. (Not always thru fricativization, however.) John Vertical