Refining early Basque criteria (miau)

Jim Rader jrader at
Mon Dec 20 09:21:09 UTC 1999

Not to nitpick, but  the Polish word in question is <waz>, with a
ogonek (hook) denoting nasality under the <a> and a dot over the <z>,
meaning it's a voiced palato-alveolar fricative (devoiced in final
position, but voiced when any inflectional ending is added).  The
nasal <a> is phonetically not [a] with nasality but rather a vowel
close to IPA open o with nasality; it alternates in the paradigm of
the word with <e> with a hook, a front nasal vowel.

Jim Rader

> In Swedish, the sound a snake makes is called <va:s>.  In Polish, a word for
> snake is <was>.  The difference in usage can be subtle, but it is rather
> faithfully applied in both languages.  Does this make <va:s> too ubiquitous?
> Or would it make his list?  Or does its appearance in both languages say
> something about the origins of the word and would that justify the word
> making that list?

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