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Oskar Gudlaugsson wrote:

> Why don't you keep the /n/ phoneme and state that the sequences /en an on/
> are realized as [e~ a~ o~]? That way, you can have syllable initial /n/. And
> you save yourself two phonemes, since the nasalized vowels would no longer
> be independent phonemes. Isn't there, after all, some law that says 'all
> languages have at least one nasal'? (I know it also says 'all languages have
> at least one plosive', but I think they've all got a nasal too.)

Not true, surprisingly enough.  There are a handful of languages which have no
nasals--most notably a handful of Salishan and Wakashan languages (formerly)
spoken on the northern Pacific coast of North America.

Matt.