Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Lateral fricative origins

From:Paul Roser <pkroser@...>
Date:Thursday, January 8, 2004, 18:15
Does anyone know how Welsh <ll> (voiceless lateral fricative) developed
historically? Or how lateral fricatives developed in any other languages?
They aren't very common, and I *believe* that in the Bantu languages they
derived from palatal stops or fricatives.

I know that in Sino-Tibetan Gurung a lateral fricative developed from
a /kl/ cluster, which is how it is still realized in some dialects.

Doing some reading on the Romance languages, I came across an interesting
factoid about the Northern subdialect of Logudorese Sardinian. In
Logudorese in general there is a neutralization of /l, r, s/ syllable-
final, such that IIRC they merge as /s/ before voiceless stops and as
/l ~ r/ before voiced stops and sonorants. In Northern Logudorese,
however, /l, r, s/ plus stop have neutralized in a different manner:

     -l/r/s + p-  >  pp (or jp)
     -l/r/s + b-  >  vv
     -l/r/s + t-  >  LL (voiceless laminodental lateral fricative)
     -l/r/s + d-  >  L\L\ (voiced laminodental lateral fricative)
     -l/r/s + k-  >  xx (voiceless (post)velar fricative)
     -l/r/s + g-  >  GG (voiced velar fricative)

Note that this innovation occurs not only medially, but also across word

     /kanE/ 'dog'  /sOx xanEs/ 'the dogs'

I assume that the same holds for words beginning with /t, d/, but the
article I read didn't give any examples.



Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>