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
  "bl3m brb3vr"