Three-Way Contrast of Secondary Articulations in PIE

proto-language proto-language at
Fri Apr 6 20:55:07 UTC 2001

Dear David and IEists:

----- Original Message -----
From: "David L. White" <dlwhite at>
Sent: Monday, April 02, 2001 10:41 PM

>> On 25 Mar 2001, 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", which in turn means "as in a
>>> language with ordinary co-articulation", but a language with secondary
>>> articulations could not possibly have ordinary coarticulations, since
>>> overriding ordinary coarticlation for phonemic effect is what languages
>>> with secondary articulations do.

I think something that is, if understood, fairly straightforward is being
overly elaborated.

To judge by Gaelic, a-colored vowels involved no movement of the lips;
e-colored vowels entailed a lip movement opposed to the tongue movement: the
lips were pulled back, and the tongue pushed forward.

O-colored vowels folllowed the same pattern in reverse: the lips were pushed
forward, and the tongue was pulled back.

If not true, is it, at least, not elegant?

By the way, I would assert its truthfulness.


PATRICK C. RYAN | PROTO-LANGUAGE at (501) 227-9947 * 9115 W. 34th
St. Little Rock, AR 72204-4441 USA WEBPAGES: PROTO-LANGUAGE: and PROTO-RELIGION: "Veit ec
at ec hecc, vindgá meiði a netr allar nío, geiri vndaþr . . . a þeim
meiþi, er mangi veit, hvers hann af rótom renn." (Hávamál 138)

More information about the Indo-european mailing list