--- In phoNet@yahoogroups.com, "Wordingham, Richard"
<richard.wordingham@m...> wrote:
> I have seen a claim (at
> that Eskimo-Aleut voiceless plosives becomes nasal when word
final, but that
> source is at best secondary. If this is correct, and not the
result of say,
> analogy arising after an intervocalic change /nt/ to /tt/, it
would be a
> clear counter example to the rule that nasals only derive from

Sure I'm secondary, if I'm the one, but I can read. It is a living
rule in the entirety of the West in Eskimo (from Sibiria to the
Mackenzie River), where nasals and stops are not merged in word-
final position, that t, c, k become -n, *-ñ (*-ny > -ni), -N (eng)
when word-final, but stay unchanged inside the word. All nasals also
occur word-internally, so the stops are old stops. I suppose it is
a matter of relaxation of the speech organs when the word comes to
an end, the lowering of the velum being simply a further relaxation.
It seems compatible with the fact that /-N-/ is optionally inserted
as a hiatus-filler, as nuna 'land' + -a 'his' > nuna(N)a 'his land'.
I interpret this too as an event of relaxation of the speech organs
to the point of losing the velum closure.