Raymond Brown wrote:

>At 9:43 pm +0100 8/3/99, Kristian Jensen wrote:
>>AND I'M STILL NOT. Cambodian, Thai, Vietnamese, and a whole lot of
>>other Austro-Asiatic and Daic languages have *MORE* PHONEMIC
>>_Nasals_ than _Voiced Stops_!!!! What in the world is so hard to
>>believe about that?! What do you all have against the languages of
>>Southeast Asia?! 8-)
>I don't recall anyone saying anything against the languages of SE
>Asia.  I certainly didn't and please don't accuse me of taking up
>positions that I do not hold. I wasn't aware that Sahla was trying
>to imitate the languages of that region.

Sorry about that. Its difficult to be sarcastic in a joking manner
over email. Basically, its difficult to be silly over email.
Apparently so, even when I give the "smily sign" [8-)]. I didn't
mean to sound like I was truly accussing anybody. I WAS NOT. I
apologize for the failed attempt at a joke and being silly.

Its probably a cultural thing. 8-)

As for Sahla imitating the languages of that region, I really don't
know myself. I was just giving examples of languages that do in fact
have more voiced nasal stops than voiced oral stops, and I
understood (perhaps wrongly) that the previous posts argued that
they did not exist. I apologize if I misunderstood.

>You could, of course, have added that Chinese (all varieties I
>believe) has NO phonemic voiced plosives but does have three
>phonemic nasals - and that accounts for a large part of the world's
>In Chinese the lenis plosive are unaspirated while the fortis
>plosives are aspirated.  Here, surely, the number of lenis plosive
>consonants versus the nasals are what is relevant to this argument.
>From what I know of Thai - and I have no doubt your knowledge is
>greater than mine - the main opposition is between unaspirated &
>aspirated plosives. Indeed, the two voiced plosives, which you
>rightly quote, seem to fit oddly into the scheme of things.
>I'm by no means well up on the languages of the area, but I get the
>impression that the main opposition in plosives is between
>aspirated & unaspirated voicless plosives and that the few voiced
>plosives function rather differently.

That's the impression I get as well. 8-)

>>Now there you go... its all there as clear as day! Again, what's
>>hard to believe about that? The evidence is all there. There is no
>>need to make quick assumptions and denying the existence of
>>Southeast Asian languages. 8-)
>I don't recall anyone denying the existence of these languages.

Again I'm sorry for the failed attempt at a joke.

>Even in Europe it possible to find languages which, like Chinese,
>have no voiced plosive phonemes but do have nasal phonemes.  Scots
>Gaelic is one such language - the symbols {b}, {d} and {g}
>represent unaspirated voiceless plosives while {p} {t} {c}
>represent the aspirated series.  Some southern German dialects, I
>believe, operate the same way.
>>IMO, there is absolutely nothing unusual about having more voiced
>>nasal stops than voiced oral stops. It all depends on the voicing
>>requirement of the individual languages.
>Yes, it does.  In languages where the only or the main opposition
>between fortis & lenis plosives is aspiration versus non-aspiration
>then, yes, the voiced nasals will, indeed must, outnumber the
>voiced plosives (if _any_). And in Polynesian languages where there
>is only one series of voiceless plosives, even one nasal must
>outnumber zero voiced plosives  :)
>But I got the impression that Sahla was working within the
>voiceless - voiced opposition type of language where aspirated
>voiceless plosive are conditioned allophones of of the voiceless
>plosives.  This _not_ the case in any of the SE Asian languages
>Indeed, Sahla's mention of clicks and implosive consonants seemed
>to me to put his phonology more within the context of African
>languages.  It was within that context - *and that context only* -
>that I concurred with Nik's observation.
Hmmm... you're right about all that. Within THAT context, I concur
with Nik's observation as well.

>>Just having the urge to clear things up and acknowledging the
>>existence of the languages my Southeast-Asian 'brothers' speak,
>I know well about their existence and I agree it does depend on the
>voicing requirements of Sahla's language.  Guess I must've
>misunderstood them somewhere along the line.

Or I... misunderstood them, that is. And that you understood it
better. 8-)

-kristian- 8-)