> 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"
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