In the word t*amano, does the asterisk imply that everyrthinng following the asterisk is questionable, even if the area of uncertainty is a specific sound in the word, in this hypothetical example, the m sound?

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    Can you put down which proto-language this is in? Because some parts of historical linguistics use different conventions from other parts – matan-matika May 11 '20 at 20:59
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    This is not something I’ve ever seen at least for Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Uralic. I’d read the asterisk as representing an unknown sound, I suppose. – Janus Bahs Jacquet May 11 '20 at 21:14
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    Your question needs examples. – James Grossmann May 11 '20 at 22:55
  • It is, I believe, a fabricated language for purposes of demonstration of the process of arriving at proto-language forms. However, the labeling suggests Native American languages. – Innumerate May 11 '20 at 23:14

I am assuming that you got the "t*amano" from https://gawron.sdsu.edu/fundamentals/course_core/lectures/historical/historical.htm

I think "t*amano" is a typo for "*tamano," with the asterisk in front of it indicating it is an unattested form (like other words in the protolangauge). It appears at the front of the word, like is convention, in every other word in that column.

  • I was trying to understand the process of arriving at and displaying a proto-form, and yes, this seems to be the source. It seemed odd that the asterisk was located there, but how confusing to see a typo. I would not have the confidence to assume that it was a typo! – Innumerate May 11 '20 at 23:38
  • In that document, there are 73 instances of asterisk being before the word, and 1 example where it is the second letter – matan-matika May 12 '20 at 1:55
  • Thank you - I guess that I should be more skeptical of the proof reading of academic documents! – Innumerate May 13 '20 at 4:18

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