Print

Print


Matt Pearson wrote:

>>Matt Pearson wrote:
>>> Are you looking for conditioned or unconditioned changes from /s/
>>> to /ts/?  If unconditioned:  I believe there are some South American
>>> languages in which fricatives underwent across-the-board fortition
>>> to become affricates.
>>
>>Were those influenced by languages with affricates but not fricatives?
>
>I don't know.  All I remember is that there are certain Amazonian
>languages which have /ts/ but not /s/, and others where /s/ and
>/ts/ are in free variation.  The language whose grammar sketch
>contained this fact was of the latter kind (I no longer remember the
>name of the language).

In the second volume of the Handbook of Amazonian Languages,
both of the languages described have free variation of this
kind. These are Sanuma (a 'dialect' of Yanomamo) and Yagua (the
sole surviver of the small Peba-Yaguan group). In Sanuma, however,
there variation is complicated by the fact that <ts> and <s> can
only be distinguished from each other in environments after <i>,
otherwise it is indistinguishable. The grammar states that literate
Sanuma themselves have great difficulty in distinguishing the two
sounds.

-kristian- 8)