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On Wednesday, November 10, 2004, at 04:47 , Paul Roser wrote:

> On Wednesday, November 10, 2004, at 12:25 , Jonathyn Bet'nct wrote:
>
>>> I have another one:
>>>
>>> * You think the lateral fricative is the coolest sound in language.
>>
>> _the_ lateral fricative? There are two of the critters; some languages,
>> such as Zulu and Xhosa, have them both (voiceless and voiced).
>
> Well, voiced and voiceless alveolar in most Bantu languages that have
> lateral fricatives. But others, mostly voiceless, exist:

Yes, thanks for reminding me. I had known others were possible and that at
least one other was actually attested. I guess I had a 'senior moment'
when I wrote  ;)

In fact I had a voiceless palatal fricative in a conlang once (because I
found it easy to pronounce & like it - also the phontactics of the
language demanded it) & wondered if it occurred in a natlang only to be
told that it occurred in Icelandic. Good to know it's down there in
Nigeria as well. I bet they aren't the only two examples either.

> 1) voiceless palatal lateral fricative in Bura (Nigeria)
>
> 2) voiceless retroflex lateral fricative in A-Hmao (and some other Hmong
>    dialects in SW China)

Good.

> 3) voiceless velar or pre-velar lateral fricative in Archi (Caucasus)

Good.

> 4) Toda (Southern India) has alveolar and retroflex fricatives
>    which can be voiced or voiceless (positional allophones)

Excellent   :)

> 5) Nii/Wahgi (Papua New Guinea) which has three laterals, dental,
>    alveolar, and velar, which may have voiceless fricative allophones
>    (according to some descriptions)

Even better.

In fact I notice the IPA matrix has empty cells for retroflex, palatal,
velar and uvular lateral fricatives - just no symbols yet. The only two
IPA does provide may be dental, alveolar or postalveolar (voiced &
unvoiced). So it seems that there are 14 of the critters (tho I am not
sure how uvular laterals are made)      :)

A language could have 14 lateral fricatives - but that's probably
over-doing it, tho theoretically possible. However, having something like
8 seems perfectly feasible to me.

So what's cool about just having one?     :)

Ray
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