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>Are there any natlangs in which, by hearing the last part of a word, you can
>get an idea how long the first (unheard) part was?
>
>Are there any natlangs in which, by hearing the first part of a word, you can
>get an idea how long the last (unheard) part was?
>
>(If "word" isn't the appropriate concept, substitute "phrase".
>Or, substitute "morpheme" or "syllable" or whatever applies in the natlang in
>question.)

In monosyllabic languages word length is obviously totally predictable; but if 
you miss it, you miss it. With the "sesquisyllabic" type common in East Asia 
(i.e. (C@)(C)CV(C)), we can do slightly better: if you catch an unstressed 
syllable, you'll kno you missed the stressed one afterwards. (Or, in theory, 
before, but I don't have examples on that.) Similar scenarios are possible in 
languages with more complex wordforms and vowel qualities limited by position. 
Suppose we have a vowel inventory of /i e a o u/, but this is reduced to /I @ 
U/ in sufficiently unstressed syllables. If you only hear one of the former 
vowels, you'll kno you missed a stressed syllable - and, depending on the 
language's rules of vowel reduction, perhaps a minimum of two or three. Or, 
say that vowels are long in monosyllabic words; then, hearing a short vowel 
will likewise imply having missed part of the word. Or, in a language that's just 
beginning to develop umlaut - hearing an /y/ could imply that you've missed a 
folloing syllable with /i/. Other types of harmony also apply, say, nasal 
harmony: [tăs] could imply having missed a syllable with a nasal consonant 
somewhere along the line.

Telling apart *how* much of a word one has missed I suppose would require 
factoring in stress, eg. in the umlaut case, add it on the penult: then a [#fy] 
was from /fyCi/ if stressed, /fyCiCV/ or longer is not - because I can't really 
see the presence of a syllable N spots away affecting vowel or consonant 
quality any more...

John Vertical