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zompist bboard • View topic - A guide to small consonant inventories

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:41 pm 
Avisaru
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I generally forget to say, so if it's relevant and I don't mention it--I'm from Southern Michigan and speak Inland North American English. Yes, I have the Northern Cities Vowel Shift; no, I don't have the cot-caught merger; and it is called pop.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:39 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:44 am 
Avisaru
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has /p t k m n f s h j w ɺ/, that is 11 consonants.
has /b d k g f s h j w l/, that is 12 consonants.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:45 pm 
Avisaru
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Some emendations and additions, mostly Algonquian, might be in order. (<@nort> make an poast in the thread>)

Fox has eleven consonants, with /p t tʃ k m n s ʃ h w j/. (Some people analyze Fox as having a preaspirated series as well, but the preaspirates don't occur word-initially, are often over a morpheme boundary, and all derive from clusters). With a shift of /s ʃ/ to /θ s/, you get the closely related Kickapoo. Retaining /s ʃ/ but shifting /h/ to /ʔ/, you get Potawatomi and the more conservative varieties of Ojibwe-- it all depends on whether you count the long obstruents as clusters/geminates or separate phonemes. I'm inclined to call them geminates/clusters for basically the same reason that I don't think Fox has a set of preaspirates.

Shawnee and Miami-Illinois have twelve consonants, not eleven-- they preserve a coronal liquid /l/ that didn't shift to /n/ like it did in Menominee, Fox and Ojibwe. You can throw in Old Ojibwe in here, too, which had /p t tʃ k ʔ s ʃ m n w ɾ j/-- the shift of *r to /n/ that happened in the northern Great Lakes region probably started in the late 18th century in Ojibwe.

Nanticoke had /p t ts k m n s h w l~ɾ j/, with at least one dialect where /l~ɾ/ became /j/, and possibly one where it became /n/.

Passamaquoddy-Maliseet has /p t tʃ k kʷ m n s h w l j/, thus joining Comanche in the club of languages that have both labials and /kʷ/. Some dialects of Southern New England Algonquian probably made the twelve-or-fewer list, too, but it's not entirely certain.

Blackfoot has /p t k ʔ ts m n s x w j/. You can analyze the geminates as single phonemes, but most sources seem to treat them as doubled single consonants.

Arikara has /p t tʃ k ʔ n s ʃ h w ɾ/.

Kitsai has /t k ʔ n s h w ɾ j/.

Hidatsa has /p t ts k ʔ ʃ x w~m ɾ~n h/.


Last edited by dhok on Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:11 am 
Avisaru
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Mixe-Zoquean languages seem to be "almost" languages, whether they count as twelve or less is going to depend on where you draw the line.

Ayutla/South Highlands Mixe has 12 *native* consonants /p t ts k ʔ s ʂ h m n j w/ (with the interesting feature that /ʂ/ is the basic sibilant, /s/ is highly limited). There are, however, a bunch of loaned consonants from Spanish, plus /l/, which is mostly in loans but also the word /kulʌk/ "turkey," possibly onomatopoeic, and /kipljɤ:/ "stump" from /kipj/ "stick" plus an unidentifiable morpheme.

Sierra Popoluca has 12 /p t ts k ʔ s h m n ŋ w j/, plus a phoneme that surfaces as vowel length before consonants, vowel length and [h] word-finally, and null before the completive+"already" portmanteau [-wɨm]. Again, however, there are a bunch of Spanish loan consonants. There's also a palatalized set [tʲ dʲ ʃ tʃ ɲ], with almost all of them occurring as allophones of /t s ts n/ next to /j i/ (or before a palatalized consonant before /i/), but minorly phonemic due to loans from Spanish, loans from Spanish that fail to palatalize in the appropriate environment, rare word-final instances (whereas in Ayutla Mixe they are clearly clusters of Cj even finally), and they appear in sound symbolic expressions. Sound symbolism also has /l r/. And there's a small handful (less than a dozen, from what I can tell) of voiced sounds that appear without the following /ʔ/ that normally triggers voicing, such as the suffix /-gak/ "another/again" and /dʲa/ "no."

San Miguel Chimalapa Zoque has 11 /p t ts k ʔ ʃ h m n w~ŋ j/ (the grammar lists 12, but [w] appears in onsets and [ŋ] in codas, so I see no reason to treat them as distinct phonemes). In addition to a bunch of Spanish loan consonants, [b d g] are normally found as allophones of voiceless stops but they show up word-initially in some 1st person pronouns, deictics, and a few other function words regardless of context. /s f l r/ appear in Spanish loans, a tiny number of words of unknown origin, and in sound symbolic expressions.


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