Re: Nasal vowels (WAS: [Re: [IE conlangs]])
|From:||Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, April 13, 1999, 20:01|
> I've noticed there's a tendency to reduce vowels when
> nasal (or before a nasal, as in this case). Some time ago
> a French speaker (Christophe? Mathias?) said that he didn't
> distinguish the nasal vowels in _brun_ and _brin_.
> Is there a physical reason for that kind of simplification?[snip]
> So, does nasality mean less distinctiveness?
Essentially, yes. Nasal vowels tend to be less distinctive than their
oral counterparts. /E~/ and /e~/ sound more similar than /E/ and /e/,
thus, there's a tendency to collapse them. Many languages with nasal
vowels have fewer nasal vowels than oral.
"It's bad manners to talk about ropes in the house of a man whose father
was hanged." - Irish proverb
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