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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
I recently met a gentleman with the last name Tlumack. He
expressed some problems with having a last name which
begins with an English-illegal consonant cluster (he was not a
linguist). He then said that he had no idea what the origin of
his last name was--though he had verified that the initial tl-
was not an orthographic error. He believed his family to have
come to the United States from Hungary.
It has been a while since I studied historical phonology (and
my studies were limited to just a few Indo European
Languages--and I never achieved ''deep'' knowledge of the
subject), so I was unable to tell him a language family or
subgroup that would have allowed the initial /tl/ cluster. I feel
that it is also possible that the