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At 12:42 AM 1/26/02 +0100, Christophe Grandsire wrote:
>En réponse à Bob Greenwade <[log in to unmask]>:
>
> >     As a general rule, the only consonants that should be allowed as
> > vowels
> > are the trills and approximants (r, l, and their relatives).  If she
> > can
> > figure out how to treat a fricative, nasal, or even plosive consonant as
> > a
> > vowel and make it sound natural (even though I'd say the latter was
> > impossible), then more power to her.
> >
>
>Well, your general rule doesn't completely hold, since among languages
>which use syllabic consonants, the most used ones happen to be the nasals
>(50% of those languages only have nasals as sylabic consonants). They are
>more often used as syllable peaks than the trills and approximants
>together!!! :)

    That's a large part of why it's a *general* rule (along with English
words like "rotten," which many dialects render treating the "n" as a vowel
-- though in the case of English, I'd call it a special case rather than an
actual vowel).


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