Tampering with history

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal mcv at WXS.NL
Sat Jun 20 05:21:54 UTC 1998

"T.I. Console" <info at TICONSOLE.NL> wrote:

>Lars Martin Fosse wrote:
>Retroflexion may be both. Modern Norwegian and Swedish both have
>retroflexion, which developed quite independently of Dravidian languages!
>I can add two more examples: two `remote' areas of the former Roman empire,
>namely Puglia in South Italy and the island of Sardinia, have preserved the
>the retroflex sound, spelled as a double dd, and pronounced as the Indian
>retroflex .d On the whole, the language in these areas is far more archaic than
>modern Italian, for example, they still say `kelu' for, where the Italians say
>`cielo' (`heaven', Latin: celum. Pronunciation c=k). So, I cannot escape the
>expression that there is a development WITHIN Indo-European of retroflex
>sounds, and this already in an early stage.

Not so early for Sardo and S. Italian (Campania, Sicily, Calabria,
Puglia) /ll/ > /d.d./, a change which is dated to the 14th c. AD. (In
Puglia, retroflexion has now been lost: d.d. > dd).  Some varieties
of Asturian (Bable) in Spain also have /d./ from Latin /ll/.

Another example is English, where /r/ is pronounced as retroflex [R.]
in some varieties (notably American English).

The "sh" sounds of Russian and Polish (sz) are also retroflex, at
least from an acoustical point of view, and are pronounced exactly
like Sanskrit <s.>, Swedish <rs> or Chinese <sh>.

Retroflex sounds occur in many other languages of the world, from
Africa through Eurasia to the Americas.  They are particularly common
in Australian Aboriginal languages.

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
mcv at wxs.nl

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