LINGUIST List 14.1665

Thu Jun 12 2003

Qs: German Initial Consonants; Portuguese Leveling

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  1. Leo A. Connolly, Initial [x] and [�] in German
  2. Ric Morris, Portuguese leveling?

Message 1: Initial [x] and [�] in German

Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 12:16:16 -0500
From: Leo A. Connolly <>
Subject: Initial [x] and [�] in German

Many standard German speakers have neither [x] nor [�] in initial
position. Many others have [�] in words such as _Chemie_ and _China_,
but not [x]. (Swiss dialects, of course, have initial [x] in lieu of
standard /k/, but that's not at issue here.) Unless my ears have
deceived me, however, there are some standard German speakers who have
initial [x] in foreign words such as _Channukah_ and names such as
_Chruschtschow_ 'Khrushchev'. Have others heard these pronunciations?

A related question: Siebs & Co. prescribe some awkward pronunciations
with initial [�] before a back vowel, e.g. _Charybdis_ [�a'rypdis]. Has
anyone ever heard these? I can't even say this word that way, because
of the unnatural [�a] and unassimilated [pd].

Please write to me, and I will post a summary of interesting results.

Thank you in advance.
Leo Connolly
U. of Memphis
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Message 2: Portuguese leveling?

Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2003 07:25:06 -0500
From: Ric Morris <>
Subject: Portuguese leveling?


I am searching for instances of paradigmatic leveling (not four-part 
analogy) in Old Portuguese, or innovative attempts-at-leveling attested in 
any dialect of Modern Portuguese. Does anybody know of any? If so, please 
respond with sample data and/or an authoritative source. Respond to my 
email below and I will post a digest of responses if there are enough to 
merit doing so.

Many thanks,

Ric Morris
Assistant Professor, Spanish, Linguistics
Middle Tennessee State University
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