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Mark J. Reed wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 29, 2004 at 07:26:56PM -0500, Roger Mills wrote:
> >  s+f/v only in non-native; T/D can't cluster at all)
>
> Am I missing some context here, or do you consider "sphere" etc. not to be
> native English words?
>
sphere, sphinx and related sphincter, Sfax-- certainly of non-native origin,
though I'm sure they've been around a while.  Sometimes it's hard to draw
the line.  If there are any Greek words with initial sigma-theta, then I
suppose we could pronounce them too /sT.../.  We also manage "svelte" and
"Sviatoslav", but /sD.../ seems not to occur.
These may be gaps in the system that _can_ be filled, unlike initial
Stop+nasal, which is flat out forbidden.

There are always going to be a handful of exceptions.  Consider Spanish
reloj -- the _only_ instance of final [x]; or Germ. [tS], disallowed
initially (except in loans) but not medially/finally; or [tS] anywhere in
French, except in loans.