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Re: Tendencies of Sound Changes?

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Saturday, April 1, 2006, 17:47
> > Andreas Johansson wrote: > > Quoting Carsten Becker : > > > Some time ago, I saw someone here mentioning that it's more > > > likely for a voiced stop to devoice than for a unvoiced stop > > > to voice. > > > > Really? I would have thought exactly the opposite ... > > > >Different languages have different tendencies. Is there a "tendency of >tendencies"? Does one tendency occur more frequently, by language >count or by speaker count, than the other? --larry
I'd say that languages have actual shifts and groups of languages have tendencies. Anyway ... sounds shifts always require a context. Yes, medial voicing is more likely than medial devoicing; but what about elsewhere? Devoicing might be preferred in global shifts... or maybe stop-cluster harmonizing... I think I missed the mention alluded by Carsten so I can't say for sure. One thing that's fairly safe to say is that out of the six "basic stops", only /p g/ are prone to loss by fricativization. The others I think go only in chain shifts or conditioned changes - you don't get stuff like /t/ suddendly dropping to /T/ all by itself without a reason. There's also the fact that /w/ goes to /v/ offen but only rarely to /G/ (ie. acts primarily as a labial when fricativizing.) Also palatal stops affricatize easily and nasals easily assimilate to POA of a following oral stop, but this is pretty common knowledge already, I think. John Vertical


Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>