Um. Is this group alive?

From: [] On Behalf Of Rohit Dasari
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 8:28 PM
Subject: [phoNet] RE: Tamil

(a voiced version of i.e.) :)
Sorry for the spam: just the excitement of discovery--at least I didn't run out naked from my bath ;)

From: Rohit Dasari
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 8:22 PM
To: ''
Subject: RE: Tamil

Could this be what we're talking about:

From: Rohit Dasari
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 8:04 PM
To: ''
Subject: Re: Tamil

Time to re-open this long (semi-)closed topic :)
But first, lemme jog your memory. While learning Tamil a coupla years ago, I encountered this delightfully weirdissimo phoneme which defied qualification and asked for this groupfolk's help to find a proper phonetic description for it. As the mail below shows, Piotr suggested this could be a "semivocalic (open) counterpart of the retroflex lateral /L/".
I'm now trying to help a Wikipedian (who's authoring an article on Tamil pronunciation) qualify this sound from a linguist's point of view. He seems to have understandably fallen into the trap of mistaking it for the retroflex approximant (same as I did to begin with). I now need to give him an IPA symbol to qualify this phoneme.
Piotr, can you suggest one? Is there some kind of a "semivocalic" marker in IPA to use with the regular lateral retroflex approximant /ɭ/How about using the retroflex approximant /ɻ/ with a laminal marker like so: /ɻ̻/?
Thanks in advance for your responses,
PS: You might need the Arial Unicode MS font installed to view the IPA symbols I've used: nothing missed as I've given the IPA descriptions for each anyway.
> --- In
href="">, "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@i...> wrote:

>  Hi again,

>  I retract my earlier guess concerning
"lateral flaps". It seems to me
> the sound we're looking for is a kind of
"apicopalatal central
> approximant", cf.


>  In plain(er) English, it seems
to be a sound not unlike an American
> /r/ (possibly the "bunched"
variant, as the phoneticians I'm referring
> to say that the closure
requires no dynamic tongue movement
> characterising Dravidian
retroflexes), but probably with a good deal
> of lateral opening that
modifies its acoustic shape. It could also be
> described as a semivocalic
(open) counterpart of the retroflex lateral
> /L/, with which (correct me
if I'm wrong) it is said to merge in some
> varieties of modern Tamil.
I've never heard it produced by a native
> speaker. Perhaps you could
record a sound file for the benefit of
> phoNet mambers?

>  Piotr
Rohit Dasari
Software Design Engineer
Windows Serviceability
Microsoft India Development Center
Mobile: +91-98498-65819