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Re: [tied] Re: Some thoughts...

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  • Piotr Gasiorowski
    ... The original pre-PIE plural ending (as reconstructed by Jens). ... That s possible. It would be premature to insist on particular phonetic values, but any
    Message 1 of 171 , Oct 1, 2004
      On 04-09-29 16:45, tgpedersen wrote:

      > I see you have found a happy compromise between vowel length
      > and /t/ ;-). I assume you mean something like /ð/? Would you ascribe
      > some semantic significance to the -ð suffix at that stage?

      The original pre-PIE plural ending (as reconstructed by Jens).

      > Personally, I'd rather believe a -ð > -þ > -s.

      That's possible. It would be premature to insist on particular phonetic
      values, but any natural path between **-ð and *-s will do.

    • enlil@glenhypermedia.com
      ... Alright. Thanks. However, while I must agree that the comparative evidence takes precedence over any a priori expectations of phonological symmetry , I
      Message 171 of 171 , Oct 27, 2004
        > See what a mess Old English velar/palatal obstruent were, in
        > phonological terms; I wouldn't expect much neatness of PIE either.

        Alright. Thanks. However, while I must agree that "the comparative
        evidence takes precedence over any a priori expectations of phonological
        symmetry", I thought that the evidence only _hints_ to us that *h3 is
        likely to have been voiced. This still doesn't show us what position
        it was in either. Hence, in the absence of enough comparative evidence,
        I feel the urge to side with phonological symmetry to keep things
        grounded. This is why, I can go so far as to accept a voiced *h3 if one
        must, but /G/ is not my first choice.

        Without voicing, the best choice appears to be /hW/ based on not only
        symmetry but also the rounding effects *h3 has on *e. Since we already
        have the *k-*q-kW series, it stands to reason that we should have
        *h-*x-hW as well. I've already explained how *hW could have rounded
        neighbouring *e independently in the various dialects during post-IE
        times as it degraded to null. This appears to be the optimal theory
        if we dismiss the "bibere"-evidence.

        However, if we accept a voiced *h3 as virtual fact, the optimal theory
        appears to be just the above conclusion with added voicing. Hence /HW/,
        not /G/. In this way, we account for everything based both on evidence
        AND at least partial symmetry. Without symmetry, imagination gets the
        better of us, I think, because there's nothing to ground us when trying
        to make a sensible choice from the existing possibilities. Sure, /G/
        is "possible" as well, but I don't see how it's the best choice over
        /HW/. It doesn't come as close as /HW/ in both explaining the evidence
        and conforming as well to logical symmetry.

        Conforming to symmetry doesn't mean that I'm ignoring the many
        assymetrical languages out there, but we can't prefer chaos over order
        here! We stick to a pattern no matter how "simplistic" until we have
        evidence to proceed further. That's always been my methodology.

        > Such things happen -- cf. the change of Slavic *g into fricative /G/
        > and further into breathy-voiced glottal /H/ in Czech or Ukrainian,
        > leaving an ugly gap in the stop system.

        Duely noted. I think of the lack of "s" in Hawaiian too. It happens
        but I still don't see how that should affect our pursuit of the
        _optimal_ choice. We should be siding with symmetry in cases where
        nothing else can be used to extract a single answer. If we have a
        choice between, say, /G/ and /HW/, what else can be used to determine
        the best course of theory except a logical pattern?

        > The problem is that the /h/ in <ahead> becomes "voiced" (actually,
        > breathy-voiced) by assimilation. This kind of allophonic voicing cannot
        > spread to any adjacent segments (the latter must be voiced in the first
        > place to make /h/ voiced!). In order to have caused the effect we're
        > talking about *h3 must have been _distinctively_, not _contextually_
        > voiced.

        Oh yes, of course. But what I meant was more intended for the issue of
        pre-IE stages, not IE itself. I feel that there is a pre-IE reason as
        well to side with a laryngeal system that mirrors the velar system.

        Both these series should have a plain-uvular-labial pattern at some
        point in IE's past, if not in IE itself, so I figure. This is because
        the very reason for labialized phonemes in IE would strongly appear to
        be due to an early reduction of the vowel system. Others have discovered
        this long before I was born, but I have to agree with that idea because
        it can account for why we see such an overabundance of *e or *o without
        many examples of *a. A two-vowel system for pre-IE seems unavoidable.

        An early syllable *kuC would become *kWeC, and likewise *huC transforms
        into *hWeC. This is evocative of the similarly vowel-reduced Abkhaz-Adyghe
        languages which I sense evolved the exact same way, and perhaps at the
        same time through areal influence. Allan Bomhard already has hinted at
        such a possible pre-IE contact with (pre-)NWC but this is naturally
        unproven as yet.

        In line with what you've just stated but in keeping with my current
        views of IndoTyrrhenian, I'm perfectly comfortable in accepting the
        idea that *h3 = /HW/ (or even /G/ if further evidence shows this is a
        better idea) while continuing to reconstruct *h3 = voiceless [hW] for
        the earlier MIE stage. My idea so far is that some time around Syncope
        (the beginning of the Late IE period), the laryngeal system also changed
        such that plain MIE *h was uvularized to *x. The reason for the "Laryngeal
        Shift" is probably because the laryngeal series, while at least
        originally mirroring the velar series, lacked a uvular counterpart.
        In Old IE, the laryngeal series would have been *?-*h-*hW (no uvular
        phoneme **x, although certainly uvular _allophones_ of plain *h and

        You see, if *k was uvularized to [k.] when found next to *a in MIE and
        earlier, it's reasonable that *h was likewise uvularized to [h.]. So far
        it looks like it's not that simple and that uvularized [h.] became null
        or *w in early stages of IE. So, this is what I have for the laryngeal
        series for each stage, tracing the evolution of the phonemes from Old
        to early Late IE.

        OIE MIE eLIE
        *? *? *?/*-h-/*-h

        *h [h] *h *x
        *h [h.] ZERO/*w ZERO/*w

        *hW [hW] *hW *hW
        *hW [h.W] ZERO/*w ZERO/*w

        In other words, OIE has the series *?-*h-*hW. MIE has the same laryngeal
        series, still lacking a uvular laryngeal, but it loses some uvularized
        allophones of *h and *hW along the way due to erosion. Uvulars, being
        automatically rounded to begin with, merge with *w in many instances.

        Then Late IE innovates by aligning the laryngeal series better with the
        velar series by shifting former *h to a uvular all-round. This shift
        encourages mediofinal instances of *? (*h1) to weaken to lazy aspirates.
        Believe me, I started out with a simpler system but this is where it took
        me <:)

        So MIE *hW then would simply remain *hW in early Late IE while becoming
        voiced sometime between 5000 and 4000 BCE, let's say. Nifty!

        = gLeN
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