Print

Print


At 2:10 PM -0500 10/21/02, Peter Clark wrote:
>Quoting Dirk Elzinga <[log in to unmask]>:
>
>> 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.
>
>    Universal? Then what about words like "ant"? Or is there something I missed?
>    :Peter

The problem with 'universals' is that they are expected to apply to all languages uniformly and without exception. Of course they don't. This is why I use it as an adjective to modify 'tendency'; that is, all else being equal languages will avoid the sequence nasal/voiceless stop. Of course, all things are not equal, and many languages freely allow this sequence.

Muke says that his pronunciation of 'ant' actually lacks a nasal consonant, and that nasality is expressed on the preceding vowel (if I read his transcription correctly). My own pronunciation agrees with this. I'm guessing that his pronuncation of 'and' will show a genuine nasal consonant before the /d/; mine does. I don't think that we're unusual with respect to this feature, so even English can show the effects of *NC.

Dirk
--
Dirk Elzinga                                               [log in to unmask]

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