Re: [tied] Sanskrit /r/

From: liberty@...
Message: 8815
Date: 2001-08-29

--- In cybalist@..., "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@...> wrote:
> But postalveolar sounds are made behind the upper teeth as well. If
>the flapped or tapped /r/ was retracted but not subapical, and if
>the retroflex variant was only slightly so, how would a naive
>observer have known the difference? I think the phonological
>argument remains very strong: /r/ triggers retroflex place
>assimilation as well as retroflex consonant harmony across an
>intervening vowel. I can't imagine an ordinary alveolar doing such
Rather than a retroflex 'r' triggering retroflex place assimilation
might not an alveolar 'r' have triggered alveolar place
assimilation? Indians for whom English is a second language often
substitute retroflex sounds for the ordinary alveolar 't', 'd'
and 'n' of English and dental 't'and 'd' for the fricatives in 'thin'
and 'then'. If the Indo-Aryan dialects entering India had alveolar
allophones for the dental stops caused by an alveolar 'r' and post-
alveolar allophones after post-alveolar 'š' (*št > ST) might
these backed allophones of the dentals have been replaced with
retroflex sounds by the Dravidian substrate speakers just as is done
today? The alveolar 'r' itself and alveolar 's' would not have been
effected since Dravidian has its own alveolar 'r' and 's' if I'm not
mistaken. Therefore after a Dravidian and/or Munda substrate took up
speaking Indo-Aryan the result would be a language with dental
reflexes of the dental allophones of the dental series, retroflex
reflexes of all of the backed allophones of the dental series, and an
alveolar 'r' and 's' spared the change of alveolars to retroflexes.
Isn't that how Vedic or Sanskrit is usually described and 'r'
pronounced in the modern Indo-Aryan languages?
> I have already commented on the pronunciation of Old Indic "v". I
>think most specialists would support the opinion that it was
>bilabial and that /w/ would be a more accurate transcription.
> Piotr
This seems strange to me. It was my understanding that the reflexes
of I.E. *w in the modern Indo-Aryan languages, in Farsi and in
Ossetic are all a labio-dental approximant with simultaneous velar
approximation. I searched the archives but wasn't able to find your
comments on this. May I impose upon you to direct me to them?