REtroflex sounds

T.I. Console info at TICONSOLE.NL
Sun Jun 21 13:53:34 UTC 1998

Peter Claus wrote

>it seems to me that the almost random and non-systematic (not part of a
>series of similar phonemes) development of retroflexion in a few examples
>within a family could probably be found to have happened with almost any
>sound shift.  To take this as a serious objection to the probability of
>the effects of contact would seem so unreasonable as to disallow any such
>argument in any language family

I never meant to object to the probability of the effects of contact when I
mentioned Sardinian and Pugliese. I only wanted to contribute to the effort
to set the whole problem in a much wider context. And even more, maybe
such examples once will yield arguments in favour. As a matter of fact,
the Old Sardinian language of Carta de Logu of the 13-14th century does
not provide evidence of a retroflex sound. At that time, however, the greater
part of the island had never been under Roman influence, and was considered
barbaric by the influenced regions, or the culturized regions. It was in these
high-standard regions, such as Arborea, that the Cartas came into existence.
However, slowly the whole island became united, and
the language as a result changed. One of those changes is the occurence of
the retroflex dd (as allophone of ll) and d (in nd). Maybe once we will learn much
more about Nuragic (the pre-Roman language of the island), and see that the
retroflex sound came from them. It is only a suggestion.

Sandra van der Geer
The Netherlands
info at

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list