Bidental Consonants

The place to discuss your conlangs and conlanging.
Quark8
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed 25 Jun 2014 7:22 am

Bidental Consonants

Postby Quark8 » Wed 23 Mar 2016 6:41 pm

As you may know, a bidental consonant is a consonant pronounced with both the lower and upper teeth. They sound fascinating to me, and unlike pharyngeals and epiglottals, they are easy the pronounce. However, to my knowledge there is only language to have it, the Black Sea sub-dialect of the Shapsug dialect of the Adyghe language, despite it being easy to pronounce. So my question is:

How come they are so rare in natural languages, and
How come they don't show up that much in conlangs?

Khunjund
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed 19 Sep 2012 10:13 am

Re: Bidental Consonants

Postby Khunjund » Thu 07 Apr 2016 7:20 pm

Well for one, you don't have a lot of control over the articulation; I don't think it's possible to articulate anything more than voiced and voiceless fricatives, but why we don't see more of those in natural languages, I have no idea. Maybe they existed at an earlier stage of language's history, and were found to be inconvenient during fast speech? We probably don't see bidentals in conlangs because of their virtual non-existence in natlangs, but if you want to use them, then by all means, do so.
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