Datapoint for feature 18A and language wals_code_chp

Discuss WALS Datapoint for feature 18A and language wals_code_chp.

2 Responses to “Datapoint for feature 18A and language wals_code_chp”

  1. Daniel Ross Says:

    Four languages are coded as ‘no bilabials’. Oneida does entirely lack labials (cf. Abbott 2000), and Wichita only has /w/, which is not bilabial by the definition used in this chapter. But Chipewyan and Tlingit DO appear to have some bilabials, according to the phoneme inventories available on PHOIBLE.

    Chipewyan: http://phoible.org/inventories/view/278 — p
    Tlingit: http://phoible.org/inventories/view/579 — p, b, p’, (w)

    Therefore either PHOIBLE or WALS has an error for this data. I would assume PHOIBLE is correct because it is specifically listing phoneme inventories, but I don’t have a grammar of these languages available at the moment to check the data.

    According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tlingit_language#Phonology) Tlingit lacks bilabials in most dialects (is PHOIBLE wrong then, or citing another dialect?).
    However, Chipewyan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chipewyan_language#Consonants) DOES have a phoneme /p/ (written ). Maybe this is also a dialectal difference? Wikipedia also then adds the phoneme /m/, which is not found on either WALS or PHOIBLE.

  2. Matthew Dryer Says:

    First, note that it does not follow from the fact that two databases contain contradictory information that one of them must be wrong, since there is considerable room for alternative interpretations of phoneme inventories (as discussed by Maddieson 1984)

    LAPSyD (http://www.lapsyd.ddl.ish-lyon.cnrs.fr/index.php) classifies Tlingit as lacking bilabials, and Ian Maddieson has published two papers on Tlingit phonetics, both of which imply Tlingit lacks bilabials:

    Maddieson, Ian, Caroline L. Smith & Nicola Bessell. 2001. Aspects of the phonetics of Tlingit. Anthropological Linguistics 43: 135-176.

    Maddieson, Ian & Caroline Smith. 2013. The stops of Tlingit. To appear in Reports of the Survey of California and other Indian Languages.

    LAPSyD does not include Chipewyan. Maddieson lists Li 1933 as one of his sources for his WALS chapter, but Li does list , which he says is voiceless lenis. So I don’t know why he lists it as lacking bilabials.

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