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zompist bboard • View topic - How common are rhotic approximants?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:51 pm 
Sanci
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How common are rhotic approximants (as in most dialects of English)? Specifically, I mean ones which pattern as liquids? (I'm not quite sure if they ever don't actually.)

My main conlang (well, my main naturalistic conlang) has an alveolar approximant that in some environments is realized as an alveolar tap. I'm not sure how naturalistic or common this is.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 3:12 pm 
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Perfectly natural. /n r ɾ ɹ l/ have a tendency to merge in any direction. Wikipedia says Farsi has it as an allophone of /ɾ/ before certain consonants, as do certain dialects of Spanish, Portuguese, and Zapotac. I'm using the same rule (as an allophone of /r/) in one of my own conlangs at the moment.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:25 pm 
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Well that's reassuring, conlang-wise. Linguistics-wise that's somewhat intriguing though. You mentioned [n r ɾ ɹ l], but I'd imagine [d] and [t] to be common as well. In fact, I'm somewhat surprised that [n] is in there. I wonder how and why the nasality creeps in.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:04 pm 
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common in eurasia and australia, not so common elsewhere

depends on the environment. you'd prob have 4 syllable-initially and r\ syllable-finally

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:14 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:39 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 10:20 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:30 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:02 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:21 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:41 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:24 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 2:02 pm 
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No worries; you almost certainly know more about the languages in those regions than I do. We all have our particular areas of interest. :)

California languages are really diverse; I wrote a a while back about areal features in northern and southern California (though the linguistic areas naturally don't correspond to the borders of the state), if you're interested.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 2:10 pm 
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I'll have to take a look at that too...


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 2:36 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:41 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:16 am 
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It really depends, but in general Californian languages tend to be pretty agglutinative. In Wappo, a Yukian language, inanimate nouns usually don't take any inflections, animate nouns are marked only for number, and verbs can take one TAM suffix, a suffix for negation, and prefixes for direction and type of motion, somewhat similar to the "instrumental" prefixes found in many languages in the area.

Not far away, however, the Pomoan language Kashaya has two position classes for prefixes and fifteen for suffixes, with some .

The Utian languages are unusual in the region in that they have a well-developed case system; for the most part nouns in Californian languages take few inflections.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:12 am 
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Is that mostly because they're head-marking?

Edit: (Well, reading your post again, Wappo just seems less synthetic. The others I mean.)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:09 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:29 pm 
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Mandarin Chinese has a syllable final rhotic that to my ear sounds a lot like /ɹ/ in rhotic English dialects. The Chinese sound is written <r> (as in "Harbin"). On this basis, I've always assumed it is a positional allophone of initial <r>, which is a voiced retroflex sibilant. Wikipedia claims there is also an innovative rhotic realisation of initial <r>, but I don't recall noticing it. Despite the occurence of final /ɹ/ in indigenous Chinese words, I think Chinese people tend to think of final /ɹ/ in English as difficult to pronounce, to the extent that I've heard people who had developed a non-rhotic accent in English despite otherwise targeting American pronunciation.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:19 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:39 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:26 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 10:59 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:46 pm 
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My Chinese friend from Dandong had trouble saying the r in words like pork.


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