--- In Nostratica@yahoogroups.com, "etherman23" <etherman23@...> wrote:
> It also
> seems that very few languages have both x and h.

Welsh, Gaelic, Arabic, Ivrit (probably most Semitic - and you can add
Ancient Egyptian), Farsi and Northern Thai all have the contrast in
native words. Admittedly there is barely a lexeme-initial contrast in
Welsh or Gaelic. This seems to be a fair proportion of the languages
I have made some study of.

You may be able to argue that German and Czech are not valid examples,
and there does seem to be rather a dearth of examples in India and
Burma (until you reach the Tai languages).

After a little research on the web, it seems one may be able to add
Georgian and Uighur to the examples, but I don't know how much load
the contrast bears in these languages. For example, I think the
contrast has little or no load in Scots, and it may be possible to
treat them as allophones.

> According to Bomhard (Towards
> Proto-Nostratic) who uses Calarusso as a source, x, at least in the
> Caucasian languages, have no coloring effects whereas h does.

I would not be adverse to assuming uvularisation or similar of *h2,
parallel to that of PIE *k (standard orthography). Classical Hebrew
heth (usually described as pharyngeal) certainly coloured vowels.