LINGUIST List 7.859

Mon Jun 10 1996

Sum: interdental fricatives

Editor for this issue: T. Daniel Seely <dseelyemunix.emich.edu>


Directory

  1. wclivax.ox.ac.uk, summary: interdental fricatives

Message 1: summary: interdental fricatives

Date: Mon, 10 Jun 1996 11:18:10 BST
From: wclivax.ox.ac.uk <wclivax.ox.ac.uk>
Subject: summary: interdental fricatives
SUMMARY: interdental fricatives/affricates <-> alveolar affricates fricative

 A while ago I asked for examples of interdental fricatives/affricates
changing into alveolar fricatives/affricates, or vice-versa. Here are the
replies -- thanks to Adamantios Gafos, Rick McCallister, Peter Daniels, Ralph
Penny, Howard Gregory, Jakob Dempsey, Markus Hiller, Daniel Kahn, Philip Shaw,
Francisco Dubert Garcia, James Harris, and Dirk Elzinga, who replied to this
query.
 Examples of languages in which interdentals became alveolars include
Burmese, Arabic, Breton, Hebrew, Akkadian, and Laconian (Ancient Greek) ;
examples of the change in the opposite direction are Tahltan (Northern
Athabaskan), (Galician) Spanish, and Gosiute Shoshoni.

				Wen-Chao Li
				Lady Margaret Hall
				Oxford University
...........................................................................
BURMESE, ARABIC, BRETON

From: P.M.Shawnewcastle.ac.uk ("P.M. Shaw")

Look at Burmese in relation to other Tibet-Burman languages -- or is that
where you are coming from? What happens from Classical Arabic to e.g.
Maltese, North African dialects?
 ...
After sending the rather speculative Arabic and Burmese stuff I
discovered that the sound written dd in Welsh and early Breton - a voiced
interdental fricative - became z in current Breton (under the influence
of French phonology presumably), while remaining the same in Welsh (under
influence from English?). If I understand what you want this is a real
example.

Philip Shaw
p.m.shawncl.ac.uk
fax: 0191 2611182
telephone 0191 2228114
The Language Centre, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle NE1 7RU

.............................................................................
BURMESE, ARABIC

From: ufjakobqms5.hinet.net (jakob)

fricative "th" > s in Burmese. and Arabic (Syria, Lebanan?).
- -Jakob Dempsey
..............................................................................
HEBREW, AKKADIAN

From: pdanielspress-gopher.uchicago.edu (Peter Daniels)

In Hebrew, the interdentals (th, dh) of Semitic became fricatives (sh, z)
(sic, not zh). In Aramaic, though, they became t, d (but in the very early
texts they remained distinct and were written with <sh> and <z>). Akkadian
shows the same pattern as Hebrew.
.............................................................................
LACONIAN (Ancient Greek dialect)

From: HG4soas.ac.uk (Howard Gregory)

I seem to remember that in the Laconian dialect of Ancient Greek,
"theta" became "sigma" (hence "theos", god, > "sios" in Laconian).
How theta itself was pronounced at the time, though, is another
issue. It will probably all be in Carl Darling Buck's book on The
Greek Dialects - but I guess such information is easy to track down
at Oxford anyway.

YOurs,
Howard Gregory
...............................................................................

From: markus.hillerzdv.uni-tuebingen.de (Markus Hiller)

there is another possible development of dental fricatives:
since old germanic is usually analyzed as having had dental fricatives
where english has them, this means that they developed to the alveolar(!)
lenis plosives (unaspirated; voiced intervocalically) of modern german,
e.g.
 brother - ger. bruder
 ^^ ^
 think - denken
 ^^ ^
on the other hand, ancient greek is analyzed to have had aspirated
dental plosives where modern greek has voiceless dental fricatives,
which would be about the opposite direction of development. the
voiced dental fricatives of both spanish and modern greek developed
from voiced plosives.

one thing i am interested in myself is the following:
articulatorically, an alveolar tap and an alveolar trill seem to be
minimally distinct by the tap being [grooved] (also called
[-distributed]), i.e. the edges of the tongue front are curled upwards,
- - which is exactly the feature that distinguishes "th" and [s].
i do not know of any published account of this, but it would explain,
why (castilian) spanish has both tap-trill and "th"-[s], while
crosslinugistically, a contrastive tap - trill distinction is very rare.
note that it is not a good idea to analyze the spanish tap - trill
distinction as quantity, since spanish does not have quantity distinctions
in either consonants or vowels (the orthography might be misleading:
 pero' ,,but'' vs. perro ,,dog'' ). i would be grateful for any
information about what happened to the tap - trill distinction in
american spanish.

markus hiller
(university of tuebingen, germany)
...............................................................................
 .
SPANISH

From: fgdubertusc.es (Francisco Dubert Garcia)

In Galician, a romance language spoken in the north west of Spain, you
can find some data.

ts > affricate alveolar voiceless
dz > affricate alveolar voiced
s > fricative [apico]alveolar voiceless
z > fricative [apico]alveolar voiced
S > fricative [lamino]postalveolar voiceless
Z > fricative [lamino]postalveolar voiced

>From medieval Galician we have (with phonological status):
in the most conservative dialects:
ts > s. fricative laminoalveolar voiceless
 dz > z. fricative laminoalveolar voiced
 s > s fricative apicoalveolar voiceless
 z > z fricative apicoalveolar voiced
 S > S, and
 Z > Z

this set evolues as lossing the voiced peers. This system exists, but it
is very minoritary:

 s. and z. > s. fricative laminoalveolar voiceless
 s and z > s fricative apicoalveolar voiceless
 S and Z > S fricative [lamino]postalveolar voiceless

this is the basis for the most usual sistems.
 s. > T fricative [inter]dental voiceless
s > s fricative [apico]alveolar voiceless
 S > S fricative [lamino]alveolar voiceless

This is the standard system.
But in some dialects s. and s > s
 s. and s > fricative [apico]alveolar voiceless or fricative
[lamino]alveolar voiceless
 and S > S fricative [lamino]postalveolar voiceless.

In the second class of dialects (where s. and s > s
[lamino]postalveolar), S [lamino]postalveolar > s2 or s, where
s2 = apicopostalveolar,
s = apicoalveolar.

So, in this last group we have two phonemes than can be described as:
/s/ = fricative [lamino]alveolar
and /s2/ = fricative [apico]postalveolar, or
/s/ = fricative laminoalveolar
/s2/= fricative apicoalveolar.

Finaly, it is possible to find some speakers that only have a fricative
/s/ = [lamino]alveolar voiceless.

I think that you can find data in English for Spanish in Paul M. Lloyd
(_From Latin to Spanish_).
and data for Portuguese in Edwin B. Williams (_From Latin to Portuguese_)

Francisco Dubert
Departamento de Filoloxma Galega
Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
Galicia (Spain)
E-mail: fgdubertusc.es
.............................................................................
SPANISH

From: dkbellcore.com (Daniel Kahn)

You probably already know this, but just in case:
In standard Spanish of Spain, there are _two_ "th" sounds
(interdental fricatives):
voiceless, spelled 'c' or 'z', as in 'hice', 'hizo'
voiced, spelled 'd', as in 'nada'.

The voiced "th" occurs in all varieties of Spanish and is generally
assumed to result from a progressive weakening of Latin t first to
d, then to "th", especially in intervocalic position.

The voiceless "th" occurs, to a first approximation, in Spain but
not in Latin America (where it is pronounced /s/). There are
various claims about the origin of voiceless "th", which I am
not qualified to pass judgement on.

You might also be interested to know that Ancient Greek "delta",
which was pronounced /d/, has become a voiced "th" in modern
Greek, I believe in all environments. Ancient Greek "theta",
which was originally an aspirated /t/, is a voiceless "th" in
modern Greek.

Good luck with your research.

Dan

Daniel Kahn
Director, Speech Analysis and Synthesis Research Group
Bell Communications Research - Room 1C-253-R
Morristown, NJ 07960-6438 USA
1 (201) 829-4522 dkbellcore.com
..............................................................................
SPANISH

From: rmccallisunmuw1.muw.edu (Rick Mc Callister)

For the Spanish transition from sibilant to unvoiced interdental fricative,
you might want to contact Carlos & Yolanda Soli at U Texas--Austin, Terrell
Morgan at Ohio State U (I don't know their E-Mail address but you can get
it through gopher or the web) & Rob Smead at Brigham Young U
rob_smeadBYU.edu
I'm sure any of them can give you good leads. I seem to remember the
transition as part of the "fensmeno de la lengua llana" ("the flat tongue
phenomenon") of the 1500s, but I'm a literature person and just a lurker on
this list
...............................................................................
SPANISH

From: R.J.Pennyqmw.ac.uk (Ralph Penny)

There is long discussion of this, mostly in Spanish.

You can get my view from my History of the Spanish Language
(Cambridge: UP, 1991), p. 88, together with references to other work.

Regards,

Ralph Penny
School of Modern Languages
Department of Hispanic Studies
Queen Mary and Westfield College
Mile End Road
London E1 4NS.
...............................................................................
SPANISH

From: jharrisMIT.EDU

The history of "theta" in Castilian (Spanish) is reasonably well understood
(I wrote a paper on it myself a long time ago). Two excellent references in
English are Ralph Penny's *A History of the Spanish Language* (Cambridge Univ.
Press) and Paul Lloyd's *From Latin to Spanish* (American Philosophical Soci-
ety). Amado Alonso's *De la pronunciacion medieval a la moderna en espa~ol*
(Gredos) contains plentiful source material, but you would have to read a lot
of not-so-easy Spanish.

James Harris
...............................................................................
TAHLTAN (Northern Athabaskan)

From: gafosvonneumann.cog.jhu.edu (Adamantios Gafos)

In Tahltan, a Northern Athabaskan language, the "th" series of
fricatives and affricates derived from Proto-Athabaskan s/ts series.
There is an MA thesis by Margaret Hardwick (1984) on Tahltan and
some discussion in Shaw (1991), (eds.) Paradis & Prunet, Phonetics
and Phonology 2, Academic Press. You'll find more references
on Tahltan in the latter paper.
See also the paper by Hinton (1979), on a S > s > 'th' shift
in some American Indian languages, in Journal of California and
Great Basin Anthropology, Papers in Linguistics, Vol. 1. Also
see the paper by Bright (1978) in the same journal. There is a lot
of discussion of fricatives there, mostly sibilants though, and
a comment about the young speakers of a language, whose name I can't
recall now, who produce /s/'s as /th/'s (I suspect due to lack
of developed enough dentition?).


Diamandis Gafos
JHU CogSci
...............................................................................
GOSIUTE SHOSHONI

From: elzingaU.Arizona.EDU (Dirk A Elzinga)

Gosiute Shoshoni is distinguished from other dialects of Shoshoni by the
presence of an interdental affricate [tT]; this affricate corresponds to
Shoshoni [ts]:

 Shoshoni Gosiute
 tsoo tToo 'bead'
 tsaan tTaan 'good'
 tsuhni tTuhni 'bone'

Following [i], both [t] and [ts] undergo changes in Shoshoni; [t] is
fronted to a dental place of articulation (from an alveolar one) and [ts]
is palatalized to [tS]. In Gosiute, [t] is fronted to a dental place of
articulation, and [tT] is palatalized to [tS]. So it's clear that [ts]
and [tT] correspond; I suspect that Gosiute has innovated [tT] from an
original [ts], since it is the only dialect to display this sound.

Yours,

Dirk Elzinga

- 
Dirk Elzinga elzingau.arizona.edu "All grammars leak."
http://radon.gas.uug.arizona.edu/~dirk - Edward Sapir
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue