Richard Wordingham wrote:
> Did these /l/ and /r/ come with Indic loanwords?
> Did the /l/ and /r/ represent phonemes in the languages or were
> (like Korean
> and/or Japanese ?) merely allophones?

Proto-Tai /l/ and /r/ words occur in all four tone classes, whereas
the syllables of Indic words (at least, learned loans, which I
believe are the dominant type) are assigned to Classes A and D
according to their syllable type, and can have vowels and diphthongs
not found in Indic loans.  Heavy Indic influence seems to be
restricted to Thailand and Laos - I'm open to correction on that.

Either Proto-Tai /l/ and /r/ are phonemes, or they had a very
devious allophonic pattern.  They certainly contrast in Li's

> This could be a natural process e.g. rolled r slowly becoming
> etc, like french r
> and then going to something like h. But these are the general
kinds of rules
> I am interested in. It still fits into the "nearest-neighbor"
> pattern.

So does [S] > [s] !

Don't think so.

I think Kazakh has s instead of sh as in other Turkic languages but
I do not believe there was a collapse. I think new language learners simply
learned only s.

The process [r] > [h] seems to have been overaspiration.  Li uses
the phrase 'very breathy'.  Across the Tai-Kradai family one finds
cases where /r/ appears to have aspirated a preceding plosive in the
same cluster.


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Mark Hubey