REtroflex sounds

T.I. Console info at TICONSOLE.NL
Sun Jun 21 13:31:35 UTC 1998

Jacob Baltuch wrote:

>The southern Italian and Sardinian retroflexes seem to be
>allophones of /l/ since the posters were saying they only occur as

Well, this is almost true indeed. In Sardinian, the spelling dd for the
geminate .d.d indeed occurs instead of the Latin double ll. For
example, `sa bidda' instead of `ipsa villa' (caseless Latin) for
`the village'. Lone-words from Italian after contact with Genova and
Pisa preserve the Italian spelling and pronunciation, for example,
`bellu' for `bello' (good, good-looking).
But there is also a retroflex voiced d, which is non-geminate, namely after
an n. This retroflex is written either dh, or simply d. Example: `su mundhu'
or `su mundu' for `ipsu mundu' (caseless Latin).

>In any case the examples adduced so
>far also seem to contrast with the Indian example in that they are
>not a system involving a whole series of phonemes of the language.
>I would imagine such isolated features would, for the sake of economy,
>tend to get simplified out of the system (even if it is the case that
>they are phonemic).

There you have a point. Indeed, the Sardinian retroflex system
does not include any other sound than the retroflex d, and, if
you like, also a retroflex n, but only in combination with the retroflex
d (this is of course a samdhi phenomenon).

Sandra van der Geer
The Netherlands
info at

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