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On Thu, 9 Nov 2000 12:29:21 -0500 Vasiliy Chernov <[log in to unmask]> writes:
> On Sat, 4 Nov 2000 22:43:14 -0600, Danny Wier <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:

> >glottal:    h\  h   ?  (h\ = IPA h curved top, the voiced [h])
> >pharyngeal: ?-  h-  ?\ (?\ = reversed ?, the voiced [h-])
> >("emphatic")
> >
> >One can also use the terms "tense" and "lax"; a lot easier to say
> than
> >"geminate" and "ungeminate".
> <...>
> >Any natlang examples of this?
>
> Starostin in his Preface to A Comparative Dictionary of North
> Caucasian Languages ( http://starling.rinet.ru/texts/texts.htm )
> mentions some similar systems (Lak? Lezghian? I forget :( ).
> Plus reconstructed evolution for 6,000 years or so.

Well I got the list of Proto-North Caucasian from that same site, and
have read the texts. Starostin's work is pretty impressive. (I might've
mentioned it, but I based the vocabulary of Q on PNC, taking data from
that same website).

The North Caucasian languages combine tense/lax distinctions with
glottalized/voiceless/voiced, where Korean has tense and lax unvoiced
consonants along with voiced ([which are devoiced to "plain" voiceless
initially and finally).  Six versus three.

I meant to ask "any natlang examples of this besides North Caucasian",
and I have to imagine there are languages of North America (Salishan
anyone?) with this complexity of consonants. I read a book which gave the
phonemes of reconstructed Proto-Salishan, and it resembled the versions
of Nostratic and North Caucasian I've seen. (And Proto-Nilo-Saharan has a
lot of consonants, including a whole set of implosive voiced stops.)

DaW.