Now *that's* confidence

This might be a better example of that cart-before-the-horse analogy.

[Via LINGUIST List.]

Message 1: Prothesis Before Single Consonant

Date: 12-Oct-2004
From: Katalin Balogne Berces <>
Subject: Prothesis Before Single Consonant

Dear Linguists,
I’m looking for examples of vowel prothesis before a single consonant. Prothesis
is usually exemplified in word-initial consonant clusters, whether the vowel is
inserted before the cluster (as in Spanish ”escuela” ‘school’) or within (as
in Arabic ”bilastic” ‘plastic’). I’m sure there are cases of word-initial
vowel epenthesis before a non-branching onset, something like ”ibala” for a
loanword from an input ”bala”, I just haven’t found any examples. I hope you
can help me.

Katalin Balogne Berces 

Linguistic Field(s): Phonology

2 thoughts on “Now *that's* confidence

  1. Kevin Ryan

    One good place to look for prothesis before simple onsets is in loanwords where the receiving language has an allophone sufficiently close to the initial consonant of the loanword, but only tolerates it intervocalically, and therefore has a choice between prothesis and violating the V_V phonotactic.

    Premodern Tamil provides a good example of the former solution: Sanskrit (and other) words with initial liquids {l, r} go into Tamil with prothetic [i]. Thus the great Indian epic the raamaayaNa (Valmiki’s Ramayana) becomes the iraamaayaNam in Tamil (Kamban’s Iramayanam), and one of its leading characters, Ram’s brother lakSmaNa, becomes Tamil ilakSmaNar.

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