Flyer for Brill's Studies in Language, Cognition and Culture

Alexandra Aikhenvald a.y.aikhenvald at LIVE.COM
Thu Dec 17 10:08:55 UTC 2009

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, PhD, DLitt, FAHA
Professor and Research Leader (Peoples and Societies of the Tropics)
The Cairns Institute 
James Cook University
PO Box 6811
Queensland 4870

mobile 0400 305315
office 61-7-40421117
home 61-7-40381876
alexandra.aikhenvald at

> Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2009 15:24:26 -0500
> From: phonosemantics at EARTHLINK.NET
> Subject: Re: [Histling-l] Asymmetry in voiceless stop lenition
> I don't know if this is relevant, but in Yahgan obstruents are not treated equally by articulatory position.
> The system of the Yahgashaga dialect in the mid-19th century consisted of p, b, t, d, ch, j, and k, g.
> In word final position or before another obstruent-initial syllable all these were fricativized (after dropping following vowel): p/b>f, t/d>hr, ch/j>rri (?), k/g>x. There is also r>sh.
> However, there was a 'flux' of these forms in initial position, between t and d, ch and j, and k and g.
> But p and b did NOT alternate- rather p alternated with f. There is some evidence that b went with w. It is possible that at some more abstract level r/sh fit this latter pattern, but there aren't any initial r's in the language.
> Jess Tauber
> phonosemantics at
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