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Re: Labiodental approximant

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Friday, March 3, 2000, 18:39
In a message dated 3/3/2000 6:42:50 AM Eastern Standard Time, james@ZOLID.COM

<< Thanks to all for the backup on the labiodental approximant/Norwegian
 w/Dutch w thing, and for the extra background. Interesting.
Better late than never:  it's also the pronunciation of /w/ in Indonesian.
As to Peninsular Malay, I don't know.  I would wonder if there's possible
influence from Dutch in Indonesia, English in Malay (probably unlikely)....
Describing "minor" langs. of Indonesia, the old Dutch writers were usually
careful to describe /w/ as "as in Dutch", or "like French/English v" or "like
Engl. w"-- one lang. I know of has both "Dutch w" < *b contrasting with
"Engl. w" < *w.  Austronesian *w seems to have been rather unstable-- of
limited occurrence, often merges with surrounding vowels ( most commonly *a,
so that *aw or *wa > o, lost in many languages, weakened to /h/, fronted to
/y/, labio-velar "gw" in Chamorro of Guam. Fortunately for us comparativists,
it's usually retained in Philippine langs.