>As I said, for PIE three. Before that, it's speculative. Proto-Nostratic
>probably had both velar and uvular stops
Proto-Nostratic itself is speculative! Especially on this List where
we try to deal specifically with IE, not Nostratic. However, I
for one am skeptical that the *k/*q contrast is very ancient
and probably originates within IndoTyrrhenian, seperate from
other potentially related language groups like Uralic or Altaic.
I've already put forth my idea that *q is originally the result
of *k next to Old and Mid IE *a, that *k and *q were originally
only allophones of the same phoneme, and that *q only
became phonemicized recently in Late IE (5000-4000 BCE).
>So it stands to reason to reconstruct three laryngeal phonemes
>reflecting the three laryngeal settings (*h, *? and *? and two
>back fricatives: one velar and one uvular (*x, *X), for a grand total of 5.
Apparently this is Miguel's idea of efficient symmetry even though
I've offered something even simpler and equally symmetrically
satisfying: *[?] & *[h] (*h1), *[h.] (*h2) and *[hW] (*h3).
We only need a simple contrast like that of the k-series which
involves plain, uvular & labial. Adding aspiration, glottalization,
voicing and whatever else to the mix is just superfluous nonsense.
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