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 -
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
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 -
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.
> 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.
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" ]