Three-Way Contrast of Secondary Articulations in PIE

David L. White dlwhite at
Tue Apr 3 03:54:56 UTC 2001

> At 04:35 PM 3/25/01 -0600, David L. White wrote:

>> My point is that to speak of "plain" consonants existing in such a system
>> is in a sense non-sensical, because "plain" in effect means "as in a
>> language without secondary articulations",

> In this context I would more likely read it as meaning "lacking overt
> co-articulations".

        What does that mean?  Co-articulations and secondary articulations
are in a sense opposites, and of the two it is secondary articulations that
are "overt", in the sense of always being phonemic, with one
interesing-to-bizarre exception (that I know of):  in Bangkok Thai,
velarization is used to signal "threatening voice" (since all things being
equal it makes the speaker sound bigger), but never distinguishes words.
Co-articulations, by contrast, are "covert", being below the threshold of
user-awareness, and are just the result of the phonetic implementation of a
given language on the interface (so to speak, sorry) between that language's
vowels and consonants.
        I hope most of what I would say in response to the rest of this
posting is said in my other response on the same subject.

Dr. David L. White

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