scarce vowels, was Re: Tit'xka (Pretty Long Post)
|Date:||Tuesday, December 29, 1998, 0:16|
Eric Christopherson wrote:
> I was just wondering the other day, "are there any languages without
> either /o/ or /u/, or without either /e/ or /i/?"
It depends on what you mean. There are a number of languages which
are postulated as having only 1 phonemic vowel, usually /a/. Examples
include Iatmul and Kabardian. My master's thesis dealt with
Proto-Wakashan roots and their reconstruction. It too only needed *a
and even that was questionable (it only occurred in a handful of roots).
Languages of this sort tend to have lots of epenthetic and phonetic
vowels whose pronunciation is environmentally determined. Needless to
say, there are those who think the whole idea is rubbish but my personal
opinion is to accept mono-vowel lgs as real phenomona, YMMV.
Just my 2 cents,
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