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En réponse à Andreas Johansson <[log in to unmask]>:

>
> Is this just a phonetic requirement, or does words have to begin in a
> phonemic consonants? (In other words, is that glottal stop phonemic, or
> is
> it just there to prevent a phonetically initial vowel?)
>

The glottal stop is definitely phonemic, appears written and can be part of
roots (there are trisyllabic roots where the glottal stop is the first
consonnant). It behaves as any consonnant. It is also a phonetic requirement in
the case like the affix al-: the definite article, or nouns like ibn: son
(whose root is really bisyllabic b-n) which are pronounced /l/ or /bn/ in a
sequence, but /?al/ or /?ibn/ after a pause. In this case, you cannot really
say that the glottal stop is phonemic (but it is in a word like ?ab: father,
bisyllabic root ?-b), but it is a phonetic requirement due to the presence of
an added vowel.

Christophe.

http://rainbow.conlang.free.fr