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1 A comment on Gedney s proposal for another series of voiced initials in Proto Tai revisited 1 Graham Thurgood California State University Chico 1 INTRODUCTION Gedney is well known for a number of his contributions to Tai linguistics with one of the best known contributions being his checklist for determining tones in Tai dialects reprinted as Gedney 1989c 202 but originally appearing in 1972 The first column of the checklist contains the different groups of initial sounds in Proto Tai The first three rows contain various voiceless sounds the fourth row contains voiced initial sounds In short the first column contains four distinct groups of proto Tai initials Voiceless friction sounds s hm ph etc Voiceless unaspirated stops p etc Glottal b etc Voiced b m l z A 1 B 5 Proto Tai tones C D short 9 13 2 6 10 3 7 11 4 8 12 Smooth syllables 14 D long 17 18 15 19 16 20 Checked syllables Chart 1 Gedney s checklist While these four patterns in the Gedney checklist account for most of the patterns found in the Tai languages they do not account for all the patterns In a paper first printed in 1979 reprinted in 1989a entitled Evidence for another series of voiced initials in proto Tai Gedney quite tentatively posited one more pattern a second series of voiced initials for Proto Tai PT Gedney s paper was written to account for roughly fifty forms with a pattern of initial and tonal correspondences that do not fit into the chart given above that is these forms follow a pattern different from the patterns of all the other Tai words Although the anomalous nature of these forms must also have been apparent earlier to Li in Li s Handbook 1977 the majority of these forms are simply reconstructed with voiceless aspirated stops for Southwestern SWT and Central Tai CT with Li frequently appending a note that in Northern Tai NT the forms are reconstructed not with a voiceless onset but with a voiced onset This paper is a revised version of A comment on Gedney s proposal for another



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