Volume 42, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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This paper makes a contribution to phonological typology by investigating the distribution of affricate-rich languages in Eurasia. It shows that affricate-rich and affricate-dense languages cluster areally within Eurasia and have area-specific histories. In particular, the affricate-rich areas of western Eurasia – a ‘European’ area and a Caucasian area – are not the result of contact-induced sound changes or borrowing, while the two affricate-rich areas of eastern Eurasia – the Hindukush area and the Eastern Himalayan area – are the result of contact. Specifically, affricate-dense areas depend on the emergence of retroflex affricates. Moreover, languages outside these affricate-dense areas tend to lose retroflex affricates.


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