Glottalization and aspiration in Georgian: evidence from user interfaces

If you type into the search box on the Georgian-language Wikipedia, you may be surprised to see Mkhedruli, the modern Georgian alphabet, appearing instead of Roman. That means you can search for ამაზონი without having to copy and paste.

What interests me here is the choices made for t, k and p. Capital T, the marked case, corresponds to თ (aspirated) whereas lower-case (and hence unmarked) t is ტ (glottalized). k is კ (glottalized). There is no K, because q is ქ (aspirated). p პ (glottalized), f ფ (aspirated), and lastly y ყ (glottalized uvular stop, because they look alike).

At least in spelling if not in pronunciation, there is no assimilation of aspirated consonants to adjacent glottalized ones. ფტორი “fluorine”, from the Russian фтор, is an example of this.

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