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Re: _the_ lateral fricative?

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Friday, November 12, 2004, 4:16
On Wednesday, November 10, 2004, at 11:29 , Rene Uittenbogaard wrote:

> Ray Brown wrote: > >> A language could have 14 lateral fricatives - but that's probably >> over-doing it, tho theoretically possible. However, having something like >> 8 seems perfectly feasible to me. > > > What about a bilateral fricative?
A far as I know al those 14 sounds could be produced either bilaterally or unilateraly (HELP - 28 of the critters!!! Well, no, I do not think so - see below) I understood that all lateral sounds, whether fricative or the far more common approximant pronunciations, could be made either bilaterally or unilaterally, and that the sounds so produced are not significantly different. I have always pronounced the English /l/ (whether 'light' or 'dark') bilaterally and was indeed quite surprised when I learnt many anglophones pronounce it unilaterally. But when I learnt the Welsh |ll| I was taught a unilateral pronunciation and assumed that this was the only 'correct' way of pronouncing it (I was young and impressionable then :) I have since learnt that lateral fricaives can - and often are - pronounced bilaterally. Anyway, for purely accidental reasons, it has left me in the odd position of 'naturally' pronouncing lateral approximants (of whatever sort) bilaterally and lateral fricatives unilaterally! I can, of course, if I make the effort, do the reverse - I am just not consistent :)
> I can curl up my tongue to form a kind > of "gutter" - and using that, I can produce a bilateral palatal > fricative. It doesn't sound very different from [L], though.
Quite :)
> Unfortunately, the ability to curl your tongue up to a "gutter" is > determined genetically, so I suppose a language using this sound would > cause problems for a lot of its speakers.
Yes, indeed - which is why AFAIK no natlang distinguishes between bilateral and unilateral sounds. Ray =============================================== =============================================== Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight, which is not so much a twilight of the gods as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]