Phoneme trouble

I'm pretty sure when the Bible says the Hebrews spent 40 years wandering in the desert, it means they were clicking aimlessly in Wikipedia, slackjawed and drooling, unaware that decades had passed.

Like me this morning. While working on a difficult phrase in a hymn for tonight, I wondered about a similarity between our local Tagakaulo language and the Bagobo language spoken around Mt Apo. [Click, click…] After an unknown period of time, I find myself staring in horror at this paragraph:

“Nasal consonants include flaps, although these are rarely phonemic. Many West African languages have a nasal flap [ɾ̃] (or [n̆]) as an allophone of /ɾ/ before a nasal vowel; Pashto, however, has a phonemic nasal retroflex lateral flap.”


From nasal retroflex lateral flaps, good Lord, deliver us!