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Re: [tied] Glottalic thought-experiments

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  • Piotr Gasiorowski
    ... From: tgpedersen To: Sent: Monday, March 24, 2003 3:49 PM Subject: [tied] Re: Germanic Scythians? ...
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 24, 2003
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "tgpedersen" <tgpedersen@...>
      To: <cybalist@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, March 24, 2003 3:49 PM
      Subject: [tied] Re: Germanic Scythians?



      > Suppose a system p, p', b. On any substrate without glottalics either p' > p or p' > b. This will "jam" the system apart. In the first case you must exaggerate the p-ness of the p, giving ph and a system ph, p, b.

      There are no "musts" in such cases. If you don't "exaggerate the p-ness of the p", /p/ and /p'/ will simply merge (see below). In the case of the labial series, at any rate, no harm would have been done in an IE language, given the extremely low lexical incidence of *p' (in the glottalic transcription).

      > In the second case you must exaggerate the b-ness of the b, giving bh
      and a system p, b, bh (and further bh > ph in Greek, supplemented
      with ph in Indo-Aryan). I can't see there's any other way.

      Of course there are many other ways. For example, the original system might resist substratal influence and survive, which under your interpretation doesn't seem to have happened anywhere. Another obvious possibility is a merger of two or even three rows: the latter happened in Tocharian, the former at least in Celtic, Balto-Slavic, Albanian and Iranian.

      Now isn't it curious that in all these groups the *d series merged with the *dH series, not with the voiceless stops? The traditional model of PIE phonology has an answer to this: *d and *dH were rather similar, the former being voiced, the latter breathy-voiced. If the original system was simplified, a merger involving the two of them (and producing a {t, d} system) was more natural than the merger of eithet of them with *t (sure enough, the latter didn't happen anywhere). How do you explain the fact that, in terms of your version of the glottalic theory, the unconditional merger of *t and *t' (to the exclusion of *d) never occurred, while the falling together of *t' and *d was so common?

      There's also another problem with your "substraticist" explanation. If substratal influence is strong enough to undermine the original system, you could expect a merger rather than a shift UNLESS the substrate language also has three rows of stops. Otherwise, why give up the ejectives only to create a new row of aspirates? Was Neolithic Europe aswarm with languages having stop systems like {t, d, tH} or {t, d, dH}? Why attribute to an unknown and unknowable substrate a system that might just as well be PIE?

      Piotr
    • tgpedersen
      ... either p p or p b. This will jam the system apart. In the first case you must exaggerate the p-ness of the p, giving ph and a system ph, p, b. ...
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 25, 2003
        --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, Piotr Gasiorowski
        <piotr.gasiorowski@i...> wrote:
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "tgpedersen" <tgpedersen@h...>
        >
        > > Suppose a system p, p', b. On any substrate without glottalics
        either p' > p or p' > b. This will "jam" the system apart. In the
        first case you must exaggerate the p-ness of the p, giving ph and a
        system ph, p, b.
        >
        > There are no "musts" in such cases. If you don't "exaggerate the p-
        ness of the p", /p/ and /p'/ will simply merge (see below). In the
        case of the labial series, at any rate, no harm would have been done
        in an IE language, given the extremely low lexical incidence of *p'
        (in the glottalic transcription).
        >
        > > In the second case you must exaggerate the b-ness of the b,
        giving bh
        > and a system p, b, bh (and further bh > ph in Greek, supplemented
        > with ph in Indo-Aryan). I can't see there's any other way.
        >
        > Of course there are many other ways. For example, the original
        system might resist substratal influence and survive, which under
        your interpretation doesn't seem to have happened anywhere. Another
        obvious possibility is a merger of two or even three rows: the latter
        happened in Tocharian, the former at least in Celtic, Balto-Slavic,
        Albanian and Iranian.

        Alright! Tertium datur (no change). Et quartum et quintum (merger to
        either side).



        >
        > Now isn't it curious that in all these groups the *d series merged
        with the *dH series, not with the voiceless stops? The traditional
        model of PIE phonology has an answer to this: *d and *dH were rather
        similar, the former being voiced, the latter breathy-voiced. If the
        original system was simplified, a merger involving the two of them
        (and producing a {t, d} system) was more natural than the merger of
        eithet of them with *t (sure enough, the latter didn't happen
        anywhere). How do you explain the fact that, in terms of your version
        of the glottalic theory, the unconditional merger of *t and *t' (to
        the exclusion of *d) never occurred, while the falling together of
        *t' and *d was so common?

        I'll have to think about that.


        > There's also another problem with your "substraticist" explanation.
        If substratal influence is strong enough to undermine the original
        system, you could expect a merger rather than a shift UNLESS the
        substrate language also has three rows of stops. Otherwise, why give
        up the ejectives only to create a new row of aspirates? Was Neolithic
        Europe aswarm with languages having stop systems like {t, d, tH} or
        {t, d, dH}? Why attribute to an unknown and unknowable substrate a
        system that might just as well be PIE?
        >
        Don't get agitated now ;-). I thought you just pointed to the many
        languages that _did_ merge? So, by your own admission, there were two-
        stop substrates, and three-stop ones, the latter outnumbered.

        Torsten
      • tgpedersen
        ... merged ... rather ... version ... I ll have to think about that. Gamkrelidze & Ivanov: On the Reconstruction of PIE Stops Glottalized Stops in IE in
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 2 1:39 AM
          > >
          > > Now isn't it curious that in all these groups the *d series
          merged
          > with the *dH series, not with the voiceless stops? The traditional
          > model of PIE phonology has an answer to this: *d and *dH were
          rather
          > similar, the former being voiced, the latter breathy-voiced. If the
          > original system was simplified, a merger involving the two of them
          > (and producing a {t, d} system) was more natural than the merger of
          > eithet of them with *t (sure enough, the latter didn't happen
          > anywhere). How do you explain the fact that, in terms of your
          version
          > of the glottalic theory, the unconditional merger of *t and *t' (to
          > the exclusion of *d) never occurred, while the falling together of
          > *t' and *d was so common?
          >
          I'll have to think about that.

          Gamkrelidze & Ivanov:
          On the Reconstruction of PIE Stops
          Glottalized Stops in IE
          in
          Shevorosky and Markey (eds.):
          Typology, Relationship and Time
          "
          The transformation of glottalized consonants into corresponding
          voiced stops can be observed in many languages and can be explained
          by the very nature of articulation of glottalized consonants, ie.
          with complete closure of the glottis.
          ...
          "

          I should quote more, but it's rather long. You might want to look it
          up yourself.

          Torsten
        • Piotr Gasiorowski
          ... I ve read it. As a matter of fact, I ve read it many times, since Gamkrelidze is fond of cloning the text of his articles, often recycling the very same or
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 2 2:11 AM
            --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, "tgpedersen" <tgpedersen@h...> wrote:

            > Gamkrelidze & Ivanov:
            > On the Reconstruction of PIE Stops
            > Glottalized Stops in IE
            > in
            > Shevorosky and Markey (eds.):
            > Typology, Relationship and Time
            > "
            > The transformation of glottalized consonants into corresponding
            > voiced stops can be observed in many languages and can be explained
            > by the very nature of articulation of glottalized consonants, ie.
            > with complete closure of the glottis.
            > ...
            > "
            >
            > I should quote more, but it's rather long. You might want to look it
            > up yourself.

            I've read it. As a matter of fact, I've read it many times, since
            Gamkrelidze is fond of cloning the text of his articles, often
            recycling the very same or minimally re-edited sentences and whole
            paragraphs.

            To counter the objections against independent voicing in different
            branches, G&I would have to demonstrate that the voicing of [t'] is
            its _most_ probable development, not merely one that is possible and
            can be explained.

            Piotr
          • Miguel Carrasquer
            On Wed, 02 Apr 2003 10:11:20 +0000, Piotr Gasiorowski ... I m not aware of very many cases where we can follow the historical development of glottalic
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 2 3:50 AM
              On Wed, 02 Apr 2003 10:11:20 +0000, Piotr Gasiorowski
              <piotr.gasiorowski@...> wrote:

              >To counter the objections against independent voicing in different
              >branches, G&I would have to demonstrate that the voicing of [t'] is
              >its _most_ probable development, not merely one that is possible and
              >can be explained.

              I'm not aware of very many cases where we can follow the historical
              development of glottalic consonants, but the cases I know seem to
              favour voicing as perhaps the most likely outcome:

              Assuming the pronunciation of Armenian grabar was close to the modern
              East Armenian pronunciation, we have West Armenian /d/ etc. from
              (unaspirated/glottalized) /t/ etc.

              Proto-Afro-Asiatic probably had a large number of glottalized/ejective
              stops and affricates:
              Egyptian Arabic
              labial *p. f b
              dental *t. d t.
              velar *k. q/d_ q
              uvular *q. h./d_ h.
              dental affr *c. d s.
              palatal affr *c^. d z. (= D.)
              lateral affr *L. d d.

              Voicing and fricativization are apparently the most common outcomes.

              =======================
              Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
              mcv@...
            • Piotr Gasiorowski
              ... From: Miguel Carrasquer To: Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 1:50 PM Subject: Re: [tied] Re: Glottalic
              Message 6 of 9 , Apr 2 6:17 AM
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Miguel Carrasquer" <mcv@...>
                To: <cybalist@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 1:50 PM
                Subject: Re: [tied] Re: Glottalic thought-experiments



                > I'm not aware of very many cases where we can follow the historical
                > development of glottalic consonants,

                One could probably find some relevant data in the languages of the Americas and the Causasus.

                > but the cases I know seem to favour voicing as perhaps the most likely outcome:
                >
                > Assuming the pronunciation of Armenian grabar was close to the modern
                > East Armenian pronunciation, we have West Armenian /d/ etc. from
                > (unaspirated/glottalized) /t/ etc.

                I.e. assuming something that we have no real right to assume, if you mean the hypothetical presence of laryngealisation in Old Armenian (BTW, Ladefoged and Maddieson describe the East Armenian sounds in question as weakly glottalised at best and as unaspirated plain voiceless stops in many speakers; if you think they might have lost their glottalisation, East Armenian is an example of /t'/ > /t/ ;-))

                > Proto-Afro-Asiatic probably had a large number of glottalized/ejective
                > stops and affricates:
                > Egyptian Arabic
                > labial *p. f b
                > dental *t. d t.
                > velar *k. q/d_ q
                > uvular *q. h./d_ h.
                > dental affr *c. d s.
                > palatal affr *c^. d z. (= D.)
                > lateral affr *L. d d.
                >
                > Voicing and fricativization are apparently the most common outcomes.

                Again, with some tacit assumptions that may or may not be correct (including the assumed validity of Proto-Afroasiatic).

                Piotr
              • Miguel Carrasquer
                On Wed, 02 Apr 2003 16:17:24 +0200, Piotr Gasiorowski ... Well, the Caucasian languages are languages that have a full range of ejective consonants at the
                Message 7 of 9 , Apr 2 7:38 AM
                  On Wed, 02 Apr 2003 16:17:24 +0200, Piotr Gasiorowski
                  <piotr.gasiorowski@...> wrote:

                  >From: "Miguel Carrasquer" <mcv@...>
                  >
                  >> I'm not aware of very many cases where we can follow the historical
                  >> development of glottalic consonants,
                  >
                  >One could probably find some relevant data in the languages of the Americas and the Causasus.

                  Well, the Caucasian languages are languages that have a full range of
                  ejective consonants at the present time. These have as yet not
                  evolved into anything else... The same is apparently the case in the
                  Americas: after a superficial glance through Lyle Campbell's book I
                  couldn't find any examples of developments ejective > something-else
                  for those language families which I know have ejectives (Athabascan,
                  Salishan, Mayan). Historical data are of course largely unavailable
                  for both geographical areas.

                  >> Assuming the pronunciation of Armenian grabar was close to the modern
                  >> East Armenian pronunciation, we have West Armenian /d/ etc. from
                  >> (unaspirated/glottalized) /t/ etc.
                  >
                  >I.e. assuming something that we have no real right to assume, if you mean the
                  >hypothetical presence of laryngealisation in Old Armenian (BTW, Ladefoged and
                  >Maddieson describe the East Armenian sounds in question as weakly glottalised
                  >at best and as unaspirated plain voiceless stops in many speakers; if you think
                  >they might have lost their glottalisation, East Armenian is an example of
                  >/t'/ > /t/ ;-))

                  Grabar had three contrastive series of stops, transcribed (taking the
                  dentals as an example) as <t`>, <t>, <d>, and written with letter
                  symbols ultimately derived from Greek theta, tau and delta.
                  Obviously, the Classical Armenian pronunciation was closer to that of
                  modern Eastern Armenian (where they are pronounced /th/, /t'/, /d/)
                  than that of Western Armenian (where they are pronounced /th/, /d/,
                  /th/, approximately).

                  Perhaps the Classical pronunciation of <d> was +aspirated besides
                  +voiced (that would explain W.Armenian /th/ and the actual
                  pronunciation /dh/ in some Armenian sub-dialects). As to <t`> and
                  <t>, I don't think there is any reason to suppose there has been any
                  change between Classical and Modern Eastern Armenian. <t`> is -voiced
                  +aspirated, and <t> is -voiced -aspirated, or, equivalently, <t`> is
                  +voiceless -glottalized, <t> is +voiceless +glottalized.


                  =======================
                  Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
                  mcv@...
                • Piotr Gasiorowski
                  ... From: Miguel Carrasquer To: Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 5:38 PM Subject: Re: [tied] Re: Glottalic
                  Message 8 of 9 , Apr 2 8:16 AM
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Miguel Carrasquer" <mcv@...>
                    To: <cybalist@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 5:38 PM
                    Subject: Re: [tied] Re: Glottalic thought-experiments


                    > Obviously, the Classical Armenian pronunciation was closer to that of
                    > modern Eastern Armenian (where they are pronounced /th/, /t'/, /d/)
                    > than that of Western Armenian (where they are pronounced /th/, /d/,
                    > /th/, approximately).

                    Certainly. But "closer" need not mean "the same", especially if the two stages are 1500 years apart. Secondary glottalisation of relatively recent origin is perfectly possible (British English is a good example).

                    > <t`> is -voiced +aspirated, and <t> is -voiced -aspirated, or, equivalently, <t`> is +voiceless -glottalized, <t> is +voiceless +glottalized.

                    [+/-voiceless] (applied to obstruents) is a suspect feature from the point of view of phonological theory. But if we use [-/+voiced] instead, then [+glottalised] becomes an alternative way of saying [-aspirated]. The latter may be preferable if phonetic aspiration is obligatory while phonetic glottalisation is optional.

                    Piotr
                  • Miguel Carrasquer
                    On Wed, 02 Apr 2003 18:16:57 +0200, Piotr Gasiorowski ... I know, but I thought I might as well invert both terms. ... That seems to be the case in Modern
                    Message 9 of 9 , Apr 2 11:15 AM
                      On Wed, 02 Apr 2003 18:16:57 +0200, Piotr Gasiorowski
                      <piotr.gasiorowski@...> wrote:

                      >> <t`> is -voiced +aspirated, and <t> is -voiced -aspirated, or, equivalently, <t`> is +voiceless -glottalized, <t> is +voiceless +glottalized.
                      >
                      >[+/-voiceless] (applied to obstruents) is a suspect feature from the point of view of phonological theory.

                      I know, but I thought I might as well invert both terms.

                      >But if we use [-/+voiced] instead, then [+glottalised] becomes an alternative way of saying [-aspirated]. The latter may be preferable if phonetic aspiration is obligatory while phonetic glottalisation is optional.

                      That seems to be the case in Modern (Eastern) Armenian. I suspect it
                      was also the case in Classical Armenian, although that's of course
                      impossible to prove. However, it's imaginable that over time, the
                      markedness of the feature can go back and forth between +/-aspirated
                      and +/-glottalized.

                      Does anyone know about a language that has ejective stops but no
                      voiceless aspirates? I suspect there is no such language.

                      In relation to evidence from Caucasian and American Indian lgs., while
                      searching the web for information about the degree of glottalization
                      of the Georgian ejectives (e.g. as compared to the Armenian ones)
                      [nothing found], I came upon the following abstract:


                      Sonya Bird, University of Arizona

                      Acoustic Properties of Lheidli Ejectives and their Effect on
                      Documentation Work CANCELLED

                      My paper focuses on the phonetics of the Lheidli ejective series, and
                      on how the difficulty in distinguishing them from voiced stops affects
                      through errors in their transcription documentation and consequently
                      language preservation efforts.

                      Lheidli is a dialect of Dakelh (Carrier) Athabaskan, spoken fluently
                      by only 4 elders in the northern interior of British Columbia.
                      Although there currently exists hardly any written material on
                      Lheidli, a project is under way to train a group of semi-speakers to
                      record interviews, transcribe and translate them, and eventually use
                      the materials collected as the basis of a dictionary, grammar, and
                      other resources. One of the issues that has come up in training the
                      semi-speakers is the lack of systematicity in their transcriptions:
                      words are often misspelled, or spelled differently from one token to
                      the next. This is due at least in part to the nature of the sounds
                      involved.

                      Like other Athabaskan languages, Lheidli has an ejective series ([t],
                      [k], [kw], [tl],[ ts], [tsh]). However, the acoustic and articulatory
                      properties of these sounds differ from those in other languages. As a
                      result of their unique features, Lheidli ejectives are perceptually
                      very similar to their voiced, non-ejective counterparts. For example,
                      it is often difficult to distinguish [t] from [d]. In this paper I
                      describe the Lheidli ejectives, and compare them to their Navajo
                      counterparts, which are more typical. Using acoustic data, I show that
                      Navajo ejectives involve larynx raising as well as glottal closure,
                      resulting in a clear ejective sound as the pressure behind the closure
                      in the oral cavity is released. In contrast to this, Lheidli ejectives
                      do not involve larynx raising, such that when the closure is released,
                      the effect is limited to some creaky-voicing at the onset of the
                      vowel. I account for the differences in the ejectives in these two
                      languages within current phonetic and phonological theory.

                      Having discussed the acoustic properties of Lheidli ejectives, I
                      present transcription data showing that the difficulty in perceiving
                      ejectives often leads to their being transcribed as voiced stops
                      instead. This has serious consequences for documentation work (and
                      language preservation) because many of the words in question are being
                      written down for the first time, to be used as a basis for the
                      creation of written resources on the language. If all ejectives end up
                      being transcribed as voiced stops, it will appear to future language
                      learners and researchers that Lheidli never had an ejective series.
                      This raises important questions about the goal of documentation work.
                      Should it be descriptive - i.e. capture only those distinctions that
                      are perceived by the remaining Lheidli semi-speakers - or should it be
                      prescriptive - i.e. capture the distinctions that we know have always
                      existed in the language? If we choose a prescriptive approach, how can
                      the semi-speakers be trained to distinguish between ejective and
                      voiced stops in their transcription? In the second part of my
                      presentation, I consider answers to such questions.

                      =======================
                      Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
                      mcv@...
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