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En réponse à Mark J. Reed :


>Okay.  Which is then indistinguishable from my original [tj]. :)

It is, as much as any affricate is distinguishable from its corresponding
cluster. :)) If you can't distinguish them, it's not that there's no
difference! ;))) .

>[c]     -       palatal from the beginning
>[t_j]   -       starts out alveolar and moves toward palatal
>[tj]    -       starts out alveolar and moves toward palatal!

No! [tj] is [t]+[j], i.e. two phones, one purely alveolar (since I think
your [t] is alveolar), the second purely palatal. [t_j] is a single phone,
with a palatal release - which means raising the middle of the tongue
*while* pronouncing the phone. In the case of the cluster, the raising of
the tongue appears *after* you pronounced the [t] -. The acoustic result is
quite different (as well as the length of the whole thing ;))) ).

>I can't see a three-way difference here . . .

That's only because you're not trained to do it. But at Jan's wedding, I
heard enough Polish to understand the difference between a palatalised
consonant and the cluster consonant+[j] ;)))) . And since Maggel has also
palatalised consonants different from clusters consonant + [j], I had to
learn to make the distinction.

Yet it's true that like the difference between affricate and cluster, the
difference between palatalised consonant and consonant + [j] is rather
small, and it's not surprising that you don't hear it (especially since
historically, clusters consonant+[j] tend to become true palatalised
consonants, and even later affricates, like the modern pronunciation of
Dutch "tj", originally a cluster, later a palatalised consonant, nowadays
usually the affricate [t_S], often in free variation with [t_j]). It's all
a matter of training ;))) .

Christophe Grandsire.

http://rainbow.conlang.free.fr

You need a straight mind to invent a twisted conlang.