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Summary Details

Query:   Sum: bilabial trill
Author:  cpeust cpeust
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Phonetics

Summary:   Dear linguists,

A while ago I put the following query on the list:

There is an IPA-symbol 'B' which is meant to render a bilabial trill.
Does anyone of you know a language in which this sound is used in
regular words apart from onomatopoetic expressions?

I got replies from the following 17 people, to all of whom I say thank

Jeff Allen Jeff_Allen@juno.com
Joaquim Brandao de Carvalho carvalho@club-internet.fr
Robert Early early@vanuatu.usp.ac.fj
Daniel L. Everett dever@verb.linguist.pitt.edu
Ralf-Stefan Georg Ralf.Georg@bonn.netsurf.de
Lee Hartmann lhartmann@siu.edu
Olaf Husby olahus@alfa.itea.unit.no
Miriam Meyerhoff mhoff@ling.upenn.edu
Timothy J Pulju pulju@ruf.rice.edu
Malcolm Ross Malcolm.Ross@anu.edu.au
Nick Sherrard nickrs@mail.bogo.co.uk
Keith W. Slater 6500ksla@ucsbuxa.ucsb.edu
Joan Spanne spanne@werple.net.au
Robin Thelwall eubule@agt.net
Larry Trask larryt@cogs.susx.ac.uk
Mary Ward maryward@mail.utexas.edu
Paul Warren paul.warren@vuw.ac.nz

I was informed of the following languages to make use of a bilabial
trill, which according to Larry Trask should more exactly be analysed
as a prenasalised stop with trilled release in probably all languages
where it occurs. If not otherwise indicated, the sound either is
phonological rather than phonetical or I have no information on their
phonological status.

Amuzgo (used only exceptionally)
Baka (SW-Sudan, rarely)
Isthmus Zapotec (in few words only)
Kele (New Guinea)
Kurti (Admirality Islands)
Mangbetu (North-Eastern Zaire) (voiced and voiceless! according to
J. B. de Carvalho)
Mewun (Vanuatu) (voiced and voiceless! according to J. Spanne)
Na?ahai (Admirality Islands)
Ngwe (Cameroon)
Nweh (Cameroon) (perhaps identical to Ngwe?)
Piraha (allophone of /b/)
Titan (New Guinea)
Uripiv (Vanuatu)
some dialects of Yi (Tibeto-Burman)

Other languages were made known to me which do not have a simple
bilabial trill but a bilabial trill with accompanying dental closure
(something like tB):

Abkhaz (possible realisation of the phoneme /tw/)
Oro Win

According to M. Ward, a language in Nigeria called Rindre, Nungu,
Wamba and a few other names possesses a labiodental flap.

Several respondents referred my to Ladefodged and Madiesson "The
Sounds of the World's Languages", Oxford: Blackwell 1995 which I have
not yet been able to consult.

Carsten Peust
Seminar of Egyptology and Coptology

LL Issue: 8.45
Date Posted: 17-Jan-1997
Original Query: Read original query


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