Print

Print


On Tue, 5 Sep 2017 16:44:03 -0400, Matthew George <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Modern English has incorporated those words.  What English has NOT done is
>incorporated any words with 't' and 'l' as combined consonants.  
[...]
>What restrictions ancient precursors of English
>had isn't really relevant to today's language.

"Things are the way they are because they got that way." -- Gerald Weinberg

Asking about the general phenomenon of aversion to *[tl], which many languages share, is different to asking about its absence in some particular language (like modern English).  To say "there was no opportunity to acquire it" is an answer on the wrong level in the former case, but to the latter question it can be the correct answer.  Words aren't just incorporated into English by the roll of lettered dice; they come from somewhere.  If that's inheritance, the restrictions of the ancestral language are precisely what's relevant.  If it's loaning, gaps that the borrower and donor share will remain gaps.  If it's analogy, or for that matter a priori invention, speakers are confined by the pre-existing rules of phonological licitness.  Etc.

>The
>purpose of this thread is to discuss why that might be the case -
>specifically why there's a gap in the permitted combinations when the other
>liquid has no such gap.  

It's healthy that topics of conversations drift.  One can change the subject line when this has happened, but you and I equally committed the venial omission of not doing that when we were talking about /vl-/ and its like (and it's a very common omission).

Alex