On Monday, October 11, 2004, at 06:43 , Joe wrote:

> Pascal A. Kramm wrote:
>> On Mon, 11 Oct 2004 08:37:53 -0400, Yann Kiraly <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>>> Is it possible for a conlang to have k,t,d,g,b but no p? And can it lack
>>> s,z,f,v,w and have th?

It possible for a _conlang_ to have practically anything    :)

>>> Because, so far mine has these features. Also, I
>>> wanted to ask about the IPA signs for the following vowels:
>>> ,,schwa,a in saw and for the consonant j as in jump.
>> It's highly unlikely for a language to have a voiced consonant (like b)
>> but
>> not its unvoiced equivalent (p). So you'd better off with a lacking b.

Nah - /b/ without /p/ is OK - see below.

> I can think of a counterexample to that immediately.  Old Irish.
> Admittedly, there were a small number of <p>s, but they were all borrowed.

An even better counter example is Arabic, spoken by some 120 000 or more
people in the modern world. It certainly has /b/ but no /p/ at all.

I can think of languages that have /s/ but no other fricatives; but I
cannot think of any with just /T/. However, I don't see why at some stage
a lonely [s] could not have changed to [T] (maybe a monarch or ruler had a
lisp, and courtiers/followers/sycophants copied him/her and then it became
a mark of 'polite speech' and so eventually spread to all layers of
society) - in fact I would not be unduly surprised if a language were
found with /T/ as its only fricative.

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Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason."      [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]