Virtually all scholars working on Numic languages have called [r] a spirant or listed it, without comment, as resulting from spirantization. However, Central Numic shows that [r] results from an early rule of tap formation applying to /t/, with subsequent application of spirantization then affecting other stops. When we extend this analysis to Western and Southern Numic, the result is that in no Numic language has [r] ever belonged to a series of spirants.
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