On Tuesday, November 4, 2003, at 12:27 PM, Andreas Johansson wrote: > I was looking at a chart of reflexes of PIE and Proto-Semitic > consonants the > other day, and noted that while, say, the ancestral velar stops are > mangled > wantonly in many daughter languages, *m and *n are perserved in every > language > listed (in initial position at least). > Now, is this just a quirk of these particular families, or do > different sound > have differing "intrinsic" probabilities for changing? > > Andreas /m/ and /n/ seem to be very malleable in non-initial position, though; think about all the Latinate prefixes |in-|, |im-|, etc, where in different languages it can be /m/, /n/, /N/, (or others?) depending on the following sound. Also in Semitic, many languages have a plural marker |-in|, while Hebrew generally uses |-im|. Btw, are these charts you were looking at available online? -Stephen (Steg), taking a Comparative Semitic Linguistics course (oh yeah!) "bl3m brb3vr"