lenition was: Re: aspirated m?
|From:||Stephen Mulraney <ataltanie@...>|
|Date:||Monday, November 22, 2004, 11:28|
Steven Williams wrote:
> Some languages did have a nasalized labial fricative,
> [v_n] or something like that, that developed from [m]
> (or maybe the nasalization of [v], which is an obvious
> alternate path). I think Sindarin had that sort of
> shift going on in its earlier stages, and if you're
> looking for non-fictional examples, I hear tell that
> Sanskrit allowed a nasalized [v] in some instances,
> though it was allophonic (as far as I know).
> Do you mean the 'aspirated m' of Celtic languages? I
> believe it just means [v] as mutated from [m], though
> my knowledge of any of those languages is woefully
> limited. As far as I know, 'aspirated' is used in
> Celtic language literature to mean fricativized; i.e.,
> 'aspirated p' is [f].
I think 'aspiration' used to mean 'fricativisation' was a
widespead and rather old-fashioned sin, and wasn't confined
to Celtic studies.
In modern Irish (and in Scots Gaelic) orthography, a |h| in
spelling after another consonant letter indicates what's
natively called 'seimhiú' (using the Irish term anyway). The
best English-language name I know for it is 'lenition', since
it originally arose from the becoming-lenis (a vague word for
'weak') of consonants between vowels, and between a vowel and
In anycase, it's broader than a change from stop to fricative:
depending on dialect, the result can been an approximant too.
In the case of |mh|, it's (depending on dialect) and quality
('narrow' or 'broad' - roughly palatalised or not) either [w] or
[v] (or perhaps better [B], I'm not sure). I *think* that in
all dialects the graph |mh| is always the same as the graph |mh|
(in phonetic realisation I mean :)). I'm not sure though.
To be sure Stephen Mulraney
to be sure firstname.lastname@example.org