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Re: Phonology and Questions

From:Marcus Smith <smithma@...>
Date:Saturday, May 6, 2000, 16:24
Dan wrote:

> > bilabials dentals velars uvulars glottal > stop p, p' t, t' k, k' q, q' > ' > fric f, f' s, s' x, x' h, h' > app w r, l, lh > nas m, mh n, nh ñ, ñh > > The apostrophe marks glottalisation, as in Quecha. lh represents the lateral > fricative, as found in Nahuatl.
Is l a lateral approximant or a fricative? You have l and lh written as if they were variants of each other (same pattern as m, mh), so it isn't clear if they are both fricatives, the voiced half of the pair is an approximant but the voiceless a frictive, or if they really aren't a pair at all.
> > 2) Are there any natlangs with voiceless vowels? I can only think of > Cheyenne.
It was debated back in the 50's and 60's whether Comanche had a contrast between voiced and voiceless vowels. I think most people today say the voiceless vowels are derived. I've heard it said that Japanese is developing distinct voiceless vowels, but I've never seen the evidence for this. They are clearly there when you hear a native speaker talk, but they seem to be predictable.
> > 3) What does "creaky voiced" mean?
It is also called "laryngealization" if that helps you any. (Probably not. :-) ) It is when the vocal cords open and closer rapidly during the pronunciation of the vowel. If you slow it down enough, you can actually hear each individual closing of the vocal cords. Perhaps one of the phonologists out there could give a better description. Marcus