Re: Why Consonants?
|From:||Aquamarine Demon <aquamarine_demon@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, February 18, 2007, 9:43|
>>Well, that kinda begs the question. Languages like American English orCroatian allow various segments more usually considered as consonants
to be vowels. Of course, as a consequence one then (quite reasonably)
says that in American English, /r\=/ is a vowel. But then all we've
done is defined vowels as things which form the nucleus of syllables,
so of *course* vowels define syllables, and consonants don't. (Otoh,
in a strict CV language, one could quite easily say that the consonant
defines the syllable anyway, particularly if vowels can be long or
Yes, I've come across that concept as well; I didn't bring it up
originally because I thought it a bit too complicated for the basic point.
But yes, *certain* consonants can be syllabic: nasals and liquids, which
are more sonorant than most other vowels. Even so, I've heard there's some
debate as to whether there actually is a vowel before those syllabic
consonants, but as I am not too far into my linguistics education yet, I
don't fully understand that argument.
>>There's also the concept of "vocoids" and "contoids" which allow for aless circular definition, but I'm pretty sure [l, r\] (and all
approximants) are classified as "vocoids" in that system, yet they're
usually *not* nuclei.<<
I've not heard of that concept; however, l and r can be syllabic in
American English: butter, bottle. I'm not sure this is what you meant,
The Aquamarine Demon
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
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