Richard Wordingham wrote:
--- In, "H.M. Hubey" <HubeyH@M...> wrote:
> Richard Wordingham wrote:
> > --- In, "H.M. Hubey" <HubeyH@M...> wrote:
> > >(Personally I would also disallow k>s.)
> >
> > In one fell swoop, yes. However, k > c > tS > S > s is not
> > impossible.
> Not believable. Most languages have ptksn. It is S that develops
after s.

Non sequitur.

Here is what I mean. By no means am I being provacative.

I am using a general law-like concept e.g. languages that have voiced stops also have unvoiced stops.

1. Most languages have ptksn
2. Many languages also have a 2-way contrast of sibilants e.g. s, and sh
3. Few languages have 3-way contrast e.g. Semitic and Chuvash

Now, if a 3-way contrast is learned by 2-way speakers, the 3 sibilants might collapse into a
2-way system. What I doubt is a language losing its 2-way contrast s, sh and developing
a single sibilant. In other words, I am using another general idea (call it statistical or typological)
that languages on the periphery have less phonemes e.g. Hawaiian (13) than those in the
Main Theater of History (e.g. Mideast, crossroads of 3 continents).

Since I do not have time to examine Thai, I will have to skip. How would I know if the
construction is good without sticking to some general principles first?

As this pretty much what happened in the development from PIE to
Hindi, I assume you're being deliberately provocative.

For the final stages, which appears to be where your doubt arises, I
will take the example of Shan, a Tai language.  I take my examples
from Fang Kuei Li's Handbook of Comparative Tai.  I am comparing the
development of sylable-initial consonants only.

Proto-Tai *s, Shan [s_h], Siamese [s], Tai Lue [s], Nung [K]
(voiceless lateral fricative), Po-ai [K]

Proto-Tai *tS, Shan [s], Siamese [tS], Tai Lue [tS], Nung [tS], Po-
ai [S]

Proto-Tai *dZ, Shan [s], Siamese [tS_h], Tai Lue [tS], Nung [tS] or
[S], Po-ai [S].

Proto-Tai *b, Shan [p], Siamese [p_h], Tai Lue [p], Nung [p], Po-ai

Proto-Tai *d, Shan [t], Siamese [t_h], Tai Lue [t], Nung [t], Po-ai

Shan [s] is *slightly* palatalised.

Would you care to suggest a correction to Li's reconstruction.

Sanskrit contrasts <s'> = [S] as in _das'a_ 'ten' with [s]. 
However, while '16' is _so:das'a_ in Sanskrit, the Thai loan word
indicates Pali _so:das-_.  From Sanskrit s'(u)va:, g.s.
s'unas, 'dog' we have the Pali diminutive sunakha-.  Does not this
satisfy you about the final part of the chain of changes?


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Mark Hubey