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Interesting phonotactic constraint in English

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  • Pete Bleackley
    I realised the other day that /l/ may not follow an alveolar stop in an English onset. This is odd, because it may follow any other stop in an onset, and apart
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 12 9:23 AM
      I realised the other day that /l/ may not follow an alveolar stop in an English onset. This is odd, because it may follow any other stop in an onset, and apart from after an initial alveolar stop, it may occur anywhere that /r\/ can.

      --
      Pete
      The Fantastical Devices of Pete The Mad Scientist - http://fantasticaldevices.blogspot.com
    • And Rosta
      ... In Lancashire [dl, tl] are realizations of /gl, kl/, which you could therefore call /dl, tl/, but yes, no dialect has a dl-:gl- contrast. ... Not quite.
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 12 11:20 AM
        On 12 Mar 2014 16:22, "Pete Bleackley" <pete.bleackley@... <mailto:pete.bleackley@...>> wrote:
        >
        > I realised the other day that /l/ may not follow an alveolar stop in
        > an English onset.

        In Lancashire [dl, tl] are realizations of /gl, kl/, which you could therefore call /dl, tl/, but yes, no dialect has a dl-:gl- contrast.

        > This is odd, because it may follow any other stop
        > in an onset, and apart from after an initial alveolar stop, it may
        > occur anywhere that /r\/ can.

        Not quite. /skr-/ (/zgr-/) is very common, but /skl/ (/zgl/) is pretty ill-formed; yes it occurs in _sclera_ and its relatives, but then /tl/ allegedly occurs in _tlachtli_.

        And if you broaden the distributional picture to onsets in general, /Tr/ is okay but /Tl/ isn't.

        I can't think of any decent synchronic explanation for these facts, tho in the last couple of weeks I have been thinking a lot about how best to at least capture the synchronic facts (in a grammar).

        --And.
      • Guilherme Santos
        As far as i can tell, Portuguese has this exact same constraint, all words containing tl or dl that i could find are either borrowings (mostly scientific Greek
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 12 4:22 PM
          As far as i can tell, Portuguese has this exact same constraint, all words
          containing tl or dl that i could find are either borrowings (mostly
          scientific Greek borrowings) or words composed from latin preposition ad+ a
          word starting in L. It doesn't mean that Greek allowed it greek allowed
          them because all θ's in Greek loanwords are reflected as stops (t). And,
          except maybe for 'atleta', all the words i found are rather unusual and
          unknown.
          I'll guess that this phonotactical restriction is some kind of
          Indo-European weirdness. (i'm searching about consonants clusters in
          Sanskrit now)


          2014-03-12 15:20 GMT-03:00 And Rosta <and.rosta@...>:

          > On 12 Mar 2014 16:22, "Pete Bleackley" <pete.bleackley@...<mailto:
          > pete.bleackley@...>> wrote:
          > >
          >
          >> I realised the other day that /l/ may not follow an alveolar stop in
          >>
          > > an English onset.
          >
          > In Lancashire [dl, tl] are realizations of /gl, kl/, which you could
          > therefore call /dl, tl/, but yes, no dialect has a dl-:gl- contrast.
          >
          >
          > This is odd, because it may follow any other stop
          >>
          > > in an onset, and apart from after an initial alveolar stop, it may
          > > occur anywhere that /r\/ can.
          >
          > Not quite. /skr-/ (/zgr-/) is very common, but /skl/ (/zgl/) is pretty
          > ill-formed; yes it occurs in _sclera_ and its relatives, but then /tl/
          > allegedly occurs in _tlachtli_.
          >
          > And if you broaden the distributional picture to onsets in general, /Tr/
          > is okay but /Tl/ isn't.
          >
          > I can't think of any decent synchronic explanation for these facts, tho in
          > the last couple of weeks I have been thinking a lot about how best to at
          > least capture the synchronic facts (in a grammar).
          >
          > --And.
          >
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