Re: [tied] Other IE language with /w/

From: Grzegorz Jagodzinski
Message: 41375
Date: 2005-10-13

----- Original Message -----
From: Andrew Jarrette
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2005 7:49 PM
Subject: [tied] Other IE language with /w/

> Now I may regret having said that "all other IE languages" than English
> have changed /w/ in initial position.

English has preserved (nearly) all initial w's unchanged. However, I can
give anonother example of preserving [w] unchanged (at least in most
position), and two more examples of preserving [w] in a nearly unchanged

1) The Sorbian languages have preserved initial w- in most positions.
Anyway, w- remains [w] in Lower Sorbian except when before o, u in native
words (where it changed into [h]).
2) Standard Dutch (I mean the standard variant which is being described in
teach-yourself books etc.) changed the bilabial approximant /w/ (in anlaut)
into the labio-dental approximant, so the change is less than in most other
IE languages.
3) Spanish v- can be the bilabial stop [b] or the bilabial fricative
["beta"]; the latter pronunciation (which occurs after a final vowel of the
preceding word) is close to [w]. Of course we can discuss whether such a
pronunciation is taken directly from Latin [w] or it is secondary, from [b]
< [v] < [w] (the original [b] has changed in the same way). But the fact is
a fact... Spanish <v> can be very close to [w].

Grzegorz J.

To help you stay safe and secure online, we've developed the all new Yahoo! Security Centre.