At 10:25 PM -0500 10/19/02, Anthony M. Miles wrote:
>Malay has an interesting feature in the prefix me [[log in to unmask](C)means the consonant
>me-nganga /ng/ = [N]
>me-nyanyi /ny/ = [n^]
>I wonder why the voiceless plosives disappear rather than the voiced? And
>maybe the [s] of simpar is etymologically a palatal voiceless plosive [c]?

I don't know about the [s] being an etymological *c; Roger might have some ideas on that.

On the deletion of the voiceless stop. There is a universal tendency to avoid nasal/voiceless stop sequences (often abbreviated *NC); this tendency is expressed in different ways in different languages and to different degrees. For instance, Malay will allow morpheme-internal NC, as your list shows. But in derived environments, the prohibition is enforced by deleting the voiceless stop (at least with this prefix; this alternation has been the source of a lot of controversy in (morpho-)phonological theorizing in the fairly recent past).

In Shoshoni, *NC is enforced by voicing the stop; in Comanche, it is enforced by deleting the nasal (this is a historical rule, though, not one of the synchronic phonology).

Dirk Elzinga                                               [log in to unmask]

"It is important not to let one's aesthetics interfere with the appreciation of
fact." - Stephen Anderson