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> > Andreas Johansson wrote:
> >  Quoting Carsten Becker :
> > > Some time ago, I saw someone here mentioning that it's more
> > > likely for a voiced stop to devoice than for a unvoiced stop
> > > to voice.
> >
> > Really? I would have thought exactly the opposite ...
> >
>
>Different languages have different tendencies. Is there a "tendency of
>tendencies"? Does one tendency occur more frequently, by language
>count or by speaker count, than the other? --larry

I'd say that languages have actual shifts and groups of languages have 
tendencies.

Anyway ... sounds shifts always require a context. Yes, medial voicing is 
more likely than medial devoicing; but what about elsewhere? Devoicing might 
be preferred in global shifts... or maybe stop-cluster harmonizing... I 
think I missed the mention alluded by Carsten so I can't say for sure.

One thing that's fairly safe to say is that out of the six "basic stops", 
only /p g/ are prone to loss by fricativization. The others I think go only 
in chain shifts or conditioned changes - you don't get stuff like /t/ 
suddendly dropping to /T/ all by itself without a reason. There's also the 
fact that /w/ goes to /v/ offen but only rarely to /G/ (ie. acts primarily 
as a labial when fricativizing.)

Also palatal stops affricatize easily and nasals easily assimilate to POA of 
a following oral stop, but this is pretty common knowledge already, I think.

John Vertical