LINGUIST List 9.980

Mon Jun 29 1998

Sum: Debuccalization

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  1. Paul Fallon, Debuccalization with loss of secondary articulation

Message 1: Debuccalization with loss of secondary articulation

Date: Sun, 28 Jun 1998 22:22:58 -0400 (EDT)
From: Paul Fallon <pfallonpaprika.mwc.edu>
Subject: Debuccalization with loss of secondary articulation

In Linguist List 9-564 I posted a query asking whether anyone knew of a
synchronic alternation or diachronic sound change in which an obstruent
with secondary articulation like a (unit) /kw/ debuccalizes (loses its
oral articulation) to become a glottal stop /?/, or a palatalized theta
/8y/ > [h] (8 = theta). Here I provide the summary. 

I would like to thank the following linguists for responding:

Donn Bayard <ANTH03rivendell.otago.ac.nz>
Chris Cleirigh <cleirighspeech.usyd.edu.au>
Robert D Hoberman <RHOBERMANccmail.sunysb.edu>
Leon A Serafim <serafimhawaii.edu>

The only case I know of is in Kashaya, a Southern Pomo language, as 
analyzed by Eugene Buckley in _Theoretical aspects of Kashaya phonology 
and morphology_ (1994, CSLI). In this case the labialized uvular /qW/, 
along with other uvulars, undergoes debuccalization in the coda. The 
outcome depends on the following segment, but the end result is either 
plain [h] or [?]. However, /qW/ never surfaces in the phonology, 
undergoing a type of rounding transfer in which the labialization rounds 
following /i,e,a/, and the uvular delabializes; no suffix begins with /u,o/.

Another possible case is in Takelma (Sapir 1922 in vol. 2 of the 
_Handbook of American Indian Languages_). In this case, a labialized 
velar ejective before /x/ and then a consonant becomes glottal stop; 
before /xV/, the labialization is transferred. (The plain velar ejective 
debuccalizes to glottal stop in both cases, while other velar consonants 
simply delete).

I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who can give other examples like the 
Kashaya case.

I my query I contrasted this with other cases involving secondary 
articulation such as the preservation of secondary articulation in 
debuccalization, e.g. in Irish, where palatalized /tj, sj/ > [hj]. Other 
examples include diachronic changes in Guddiri Hausa, Yuman, and 
Circassian. (See my forthcoming paper in CLS). I find it unusual that 
there seem to be more cases of debuccalization with preservation of 
secondary articulation than of debuccalization with loss of secondary 
articulation.

I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who can give other examples like the 
Kashaya case.

I my query I contrasted this with other cases involving secondary 
articulation such as the preservation of secondary articulation in 
debuccalization, e.g. in Irish, where palatalized /tj, sj/ > [hj]. Other 
examples include diachronic changes in Guddiri Hausa, Yuman, and 
Circassian. (See my forthcoming paper in CLS). I find it unusual that 
there seem to be more cases of debuccalization with preservation of 
secondary articulation than of debuccalization with loss of secondary 
articulation.

Some of the respondents mentioned other types of simple debuccalization 
in Ethiopian Semitic, and in Japanese, where p usually became h 
initially. I was also referred to fusional cases in Bangkok Thai (/kw/ 
and /khw/ tend to become /f/) and some dialects of Japanese (cf. also the 
well-known Proto-Indo-European *kW > p in Greek). In addition, Leon 
Serafim mentioned Northern Ryukyuan Japanese cases in which syncope 
created sequences of glottal followed by glide. My primary interest, 
however was in different types of debuccalization. Thanks again to those 
who responded.

-Paul Fallon
pfallonhoward.edu
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