The existence in the syllabary of a system of oppositions plain : palatalized : labialized to the neglect of the oppositions voiceless : voiced : aspirate, which are essential to Greek, strongly suggests that the ancestral form of the syllabary was created for a non-Indo-European language. Such phonemic systems are found inter alia among Caucasian languages.
John Chadwick wrote:One slight complication is purely the result of our system of transliteration. It is true that the sign transliterated ka can represent also ga or kha; but to the native reader the sign was not any one of these. It simply indicated a velar stop, the exact nature of which was determined by the context. It is therefore pointless to talk of a Mycenaean failure to distinguish between l and r; for convenience of transliteration we have to choose one or the other (in fact we arbitrarily selected r), but the Mycenaeans merely used the same set of signs for both sounds. English speakers have little cause to complain, when they use th for two different sounds, and gh for a whole series. Modern languages, however, generally prefer the opposite complication: the same sound is written in many different ways.
Chris Weimer wrote:Mingshey, you mean no written distinction, right? I've heard Korean spoken for years with a clear distinction between l and r. Medial ã„¹ had an r sound, but final ã„¹ had a dark l sound. At least, this was the way she pronounced it. She was from Seoul.
mingshey wrote:Chris Weimer wrote:Mingshey, you mean no written distinction, right? I've heard Korean spoken for years with a clear distinction between l and r. Medial ã„¹ had an r sound, but final ã„¹ had a dark l sound. At least, this was the way she pronounced it. She was from Seoul.
Yes, as for Korean that's basically right but the final ã„¹(l) easily turns into initial ã„¹(r) when followed by a syllable starting with a vowel. Also the initial ã„¹(r) readily turns into "l" when preceded by a closed syllable(i.e. ending with a consonant). So in Korean l and r are truely in the same phoneme. And it doesn't end there. Korean phoneme ã„¹ has quite different from just a mixture of l and r. Stangely enough for Europeans, some American pronunciations of (weakened) t or d in an unaccented syllable are heard as initial ã„¹(r) for Koreans(e.g. "t" in "data", "d" in the first "do" of "How do you do?", etc.). This much for the story of "ã„¹".
quendidil wrote:mingshey, in fact, in General American, the "t" in data is an R, an alveolar flap. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flapping
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