Why didn't Zamenhof include labial velar approximant in Esperanto?

[w] exists in English, French, Hebrew and Polish, major languages Zamenhof either spoke natively or studied. It also appeared in classical Latin, but I don't that was reconstructed in Zamenhof's time.

Zamenhof includes [j] with an allophone [i̯]. He also includes the off glide [u̯], but doesn't include the phone [w] as its consonant counterpart. However bizarrely [w] does exist as a marginal phoneme in the name for the letter Ŭ, which represents [u̯], but no where else and isn't allowed elsewhere. [j] and [i̯] are also spelled conveniently with the letter J. The letter W obviously exists but isn't used in Esperanto and Ŭ is used instead.

Because of the lack of [w] to naturalize a name containing it into Esperanto one must make it [v]. Replacing [w] with [v] is a feature of european accents that's usually ridiculed by native English speakers. I'm not even sure if [v] being associated with [w] is a natural feature, rather just a feature of european sprachbound.

It seems like everything was perfectly designed for him to include [w] but he doesn't, leaving a very awkward gap in Esperanto's phonology. Instead he felt [t͡s] and [ʒ] were more important.

  1. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    This is not a linguistics board you dorky buttfucking homosexual fuck off

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      L.L. Zamenhof is a historic figure who historically created a constructed language. Asking about his decisions that he historically made is on topic.

      >This board is dedicated to the discussion of history and the other humanities
      Linguistics is a humanity so it also belongs here because of that.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      shut the fuck up idiot

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      based
      linguistics is the most homosexual useless shit I can think of
      it's not a science and not even a real humanity

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Studying the most common means of communication is useless

  2. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Zamenhof would probably have learned Hebrew in a pronunciation that had LULZ. And while LULZ and /w/ are both reasonably common sounds individually, there's plenty of languages that don't have a contrast between them.
    >The letter W obviously exists but isn't used in Esperanto and Ŭ is used instead.
    To be fair, of the four languages then spoken in his city, the two written in Latin script use it for [v].
    >I'm not even sure if [v] being associated with [w] is a natural feature, rather just a feature of european sprachbound.
    They're fairly similar sounds, and it's a shift that's happened elsewhere. Hindustani has [v] and [w] as allophones of one phoneme, for instance.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >there's plenty of languages that don't have a contrast between them.
      Yes but French was the lingua franca at that time. Intellectuals all spoke it. Of course he couldn't predict the rise in english but then that still had millions of speakers. [w] also exists in Chinese and Japanese. I wonder if perhaps he had a problem with French and saw it as an elitist language and so didn't take it into consideration.

      I understand your point but in in French, English, Spanish and Portugese J is not a palatal approximant. Esperanto seems very central european centric. Also J at the end of words looks very odd.

      >They're fairly similar sounds, and it's a shift that's happened elsewhere.
      Ah, I didn't know much about it.

  3. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >it was intended to be a universal second language for international communication, or "the international language" (la lingvo internacia)
    >>Yoo we should all speak this constructed second language internationally! It will have features from like, almost like, every language!!
    >Proceeds to construct some cringe european mixlang
    Miss me with that bullshit

  4. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I would guess the reason has to do with the universal accessibility. It may exist in those languages, but I believe there are many major languages from which it is absent. German which had become the major language of science and technical invention, as it already was of philosophy and archaeology and historical/linguistic criticism, rarely or never uses the sound. Eastern Europeans are famous for not being able to pronounce it, and we have to keep in mind that they made up a large part of the intended school for Esperanto.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      also, worth asking, does Yiddish contain the sound? He would have been well aware of Yiddish speaking communities as a European israelite. If Yiddish, a descendant of German, doesn't have it, then that would be another good reason.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      And there are major languages where [d͡ʒ] and [h] are absent. It happens that [w] is much more easier to say than those ones.

      also, worth asking, does Yiddish contain the sound? He would have been well aware of Yiddish speaking communities as a European israelite. If Yiddish, a descendant of German, doesn't have it, then that would be another good reason.

      Not according to wikipedia. In most of these languages anyway [w] will appear in fast speech as an allophone of unstressed [u] before another vowel.

  5. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The pronunciation of [w] as [v] definitely isn’t part of a European sprachbund. [w] tends to a bilabial fricative which except in the case of European Spanish, almost always degenerates to an [f] or a [v].
    It is definitely a weird sound tho, I think the larger problem with Esperanto phonemics is just that there are only about 8 sounds you can truly call universal: [p] [t] [m] [n] [i] [a] [u] with [k] as a slightly more distant eighth place. That’s not even to mention grammar and I don’t really understand anayltic grammar that well.
    Lingua Franca should just be a pidgin of English and Mandarin.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Lingua Franca should just be a pidgin of English and Mandarin.
      That's absolutely retarded. All Chinese speakers are in one place, China has nothing like the spread of French or Spanish. Chinese wouldn't even make top five imo

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Mandarin is the most widely spoken L1 in the world, English is the most widely spoken L2. In terms of economics, China makes up a larger percentage of worldwide GDP that all of Latin America combined. Chinese intellectual products and technologies are some of the most influential in the world. I understand not thinking Chinese/English pidgin makes sense as a lingua franca but Spanish/English or FRENCH/English makes even less. Seriously, there are more L1 German speakers than French.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >Mandarin is the most widely spoken
          There isn't anything wide about it, the speakers are all concentrated in a single country. In terms of practicality, it has very little use unless you are dealing directly with China, either as a businessman or a diplomat. I know professors of various sciences, doctors, wealthy businessmen, lawyers, pharmacists, fashion designers, etc, I can't think of a single person whose life or knowledge or bank account would be improved by knowledge of Mandarin. It is not a useful language, it was not molded to the scientific or industrial or historical revolutions. Languages are molded to their surroundings and China was not developing new institutions or groundbreaking thought for many centuries when the West began to grow interested in it.

          It used to be if you didn't know German as say, and optic technician, or French as an intellectual, you regretted it. That isn't the case at all with Chinese. It has an interesting culture with its own literature and mythology, but that is for enthusiasts, it isn't a world language and hasn't been since its sphere regional influence faded.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Spanish I'll give you that, it's spoken by Spain+LatAm+parts of the US, but French?
        The only countries that speak French outside of France/Belgium/Switzerland/Canada (<100 million people) are literal shitholes that nobody cares about, you may as well ignore them.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >The only countries that speak French outside of France/Belgium/Switzerland/Canada (<100 million people) are literal shitholes that nobody cares about, you may as well ignore them.
          Like the countries that also speak spanish outside of Spain? Do you really think you're any better than the places that speak French?

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Mandarin is the most widely spoken L1 in the world, English is the most widely spoken L2. In terms of economics, China makes up a larger percentage of worldwide GDP that all of Latin America combined. Chinese intellectual products and technologies are some of the most influential in the world. I understand not thinking Chinese/English pidgin makes sense as a lingua franca but Spanish/English or FRENCH/English makes even less. Seriously, there are more L1 German speakers than French.

      >Mandarin is the most widely spoken
      There isn't anything wide about it, the speakers are all concentrated in a single country. In terms of practicality, it has very little use unless you are dealing directly with China, either as a businessman or a diplomat. I know professors of various sciences, doctors, wealthy businessmen, lawyers, pharmacists, fashion designers, etc, I can't think of a single person whose life or knowledge or bank account would be improved by knowledge of Mandarin. It is not a useful language, it was not molded to the scientific or industrial or historical revolutions. Languages are molded to their surroundings and China was not developing new institutions or groundbreaking thought for many centuries when the West began to grow interested in it.

      It used to be if you didn't know German as say, and optic technician, or French as an intellectual, you regretted it. That isn't the case at all with Chinese. It has an interesting culture with its own literature and mythology, but that is for enthusiasts, it isn't a world language and hasn't been since its sphere regional influence faded.

      A universal language should not have tones, or phonemic vowel length for that matter. So then it can be sung properly. Tones also sound retarded.

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