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Re: [tied] Greek laryngeals

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  • Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
    ... PIE had, as far as we can tell by what they did to the vowels, three laryngeals: *h1, *h2 and *h3. It is not known exactly how they were pronounced, but
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 31, 2001
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      On Wed, 31 Jan 2001 12:33:03 -0000, tgpedersen@... wrote:

      >I had an idea some time ago. It goes like this:
      >
      >First the standard version:
      >
      >1. (Pre..Pre)Greeks had laryngeals
      >
      >2. Laryngeals do their stuff to vowels and disappear.
      >
      >3. Greeks meet Phoenicians. Phoenicians have alphabet. Greeks
      > take alphabet, but since Phoenician, being AA, has laryngeals,
      > alphabet has three letters too many. Greeks, being Greek and
      > inventive, use these three for something entirely new: vowels!
      >
      >Enter TP, slashing dementedly with Occam's razor:
      >
      >1. (Pre..Pre)Greeks had laryngeals
      >
      >2. Greeks meet Phoenicians. Phoenicians have alphabet. Greeks take
      > alphabet. It fits perfectly.
      >
      >3. Laryngeals do their stuff to vowels and disappear.
      >
      >4. Now suddenly three of the borrowed letters stand for vowels. The
      > Greeks have invented vowels (and they didn't even know it)!

      PIE had, as far as we can tell by what they did to the vowels, three
      laryngeals: *h1, *h2 and *h3. It is not known exactly how they were
      pronounced, but some of the options can be narrowed down. *h1 must
      have been /?/ or /h/, a weak sound that disappeared everywhere. *h2
      was maintained in Anatolian as velar /x/ (or uvular /X/), and it's
      reasonable to suppose this was also its original value
      (pharyngeal/epiglottal /H/ is another possibility). *h3 is the
      hardest to pin down, and opinions vary between that it didn't exist at
      all (as defended here by Piotr), through that it was a labialized
      variant of any of the above (/?w/, /hw/, /xw/), or that it was a
      voiced sound (velar /G/, uvular /R/ or pharyngeal/epiglottal /3/).

      The Phoenician laryngeals were /?/ (<'a:lep>), /h/ (<he:'>), /H/
      (<h.e:t>, merged with /x/ in Phoenician), and /3/ (<`ayin>, merged
      with /G/ in Phoenician). They gave the Greek letters A, E, H and O.
      If your Graeco-Punic-laryngeal theory were right, we would have had
      Phoen A (/?/) = Greek /e/ (not /a/!) or Phoen. E (/h/) = Greek /e/
      (ok), Phoen H (/H/)= Greek /a/ (not /h/ or /e:/!), Phoen. O (/3/) =
      Greek /o/ (ok).

      In actual fact, the assignments were largely made based on the
      voweling of the *name* of the letter. [']a:lep -> /a/, [h]e: -> /e/
      (and [`]ayin was then used for /o/, perhaps helped by the Phoenician
      development `áyin > `á:yin > `ó:yin (but likewise 'á:lep > 'ó:lep)).
      <H.e:t> was kept as a "laryngeal" (for Greek /h/ < */s/, */j/), until
      the aspiration was lost in the "psilotic" Greek dialects, chiefly
      Ionian. Then by the same principle, <[h]e:ta> -> /e:/, and this was
      taken over by non-psilotic dialects such as Attic (but not in the
      West-Greek alphabets that were the basis of Etruscan > Latin writing,
      which is why we still have H as a "laryngeal" consonant).

      The same principle can be seen in the Iberian script. The vowels are
      A < alep, E < he, I < yod, H (=o) < h.et and U < waw. (<h.et> for /o/
      is also used in Late Punic voweling).

      The non-stops (M, N, L, R, S, S') are also clearly derived from
      Phoenician/Punic originals. R' is a back-to-back double RR. The
      origin and value of the sign "Y" (/m/ or nasal vowel?) is unclear.

      The most interesting thing about the Iberian script (not alphabet!) is
      that the stops are written syllabically. So we have signs for BA, BE,
      BI, BO, BU; TA/DA, TE/DE, TI/DI, TO/DO, TU/DU and KA/GA, KE/GE, KI/GI,
      KO/GO and KU/GU (there was no /p/, and if Iberian phonology was
      something like Basque phonology, /t/ and /k/ were absent initially and
      finally, and rather rare medially). As to the shape of the signs, it
      is my belief that the following correspond to Phoenician models (cf.
      <http://rabbitmoon.home.mindspring.com/asw/iberian.html>):

      BE = be:t (Grk. be:ta)
      BI = pe:? (Grk. pi)
      TA = ta:w (Grk. tau)
      TE = t.e:t (Grk. the:ta)
      TU = da:let (Grk. delta)
      KA = ka:p (Grk. kappa)
      KE = gi:mel (Grk. gamma)
      KU = qo:p (Grk. qoppa)

      The other signs may have been invented later by the Iberians after the
      misconception that Phoenician was partly a syllabary ("why else have
      separate symbols for BE(d) and BI, DAu, DE(d) and DUle(d), GA(b),
      GEmel and GU(b)?") had been established.

      =======================
      Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
      mcv@...
    • tgpedersen@hotmail.com
      ... The ... at ... O. ... until ... In actual fact ! I wish I knew that much. Anyway, two out of four is not that bad. A compromise suggestion: The Greeks
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 1, 2001
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        --- In cybalist@y..., Miguel Carrasquer Vidal <mcv@w...> wrote:
        > On Wed, 31 Jan 2001 12:33:03 -0000, tgpedersen@h... wrote:
        >
        > >I had an idea some time ago. It goes like this:
        > >
        > >First the standard version:
        > >
        > >1. (Pre..Pre)Greeks had laryngeals
        > >
        > >2. Laryngeals do their stuff to vowels and disappear.
        > >
        > >3. Greeks meet Phoenicians. Phoenicians have alphabet. Greeks
        > > take alphabet, but since Phoenician, being AA, has laryngeals,
        > > alphabet has three letters too many. Greeks, being Greek and
        > > inventive, use these three for something entirely new: vowels!
        > >
        > >Enter TP, slashing dementedly with Occam's razor:
        > >
        > >1. (Pre..Pre)Greeks had laryngeals
        > >
        > >2. Greeks meet Phoenicians. Phoenicians have alphabet. Greeks take
        > > alphabet. It fits perfectly.
        > >
        > >3. Laryngeals do their stuff to vowels and disappear.
        > >
        > >4. Now suddenly three of the borrowed letters stand for vowels.
        The
        > > Greeks have invented vowels (and they didn't even know it)!
        >
        > PIE had, as far as we can tell by what they did to the vowels, three
        > laryngeals: *h1, *h2 and *h3. It is not known exactly how they were
        > pronounced, but some of the options can be narrowed down. *h1 must
        > have been /?/ or /h/, a weak sound that disappeared everywhere. *h2
        > was maintained in Anatolian as velar /x/ (or uvular /X/), and it's
        > reasonable to suppose this was also its original value
        > (pharyngeal/epiglottal /H/ is another possibility). *h3 is the
        > hardest to pin down, and opinions vary between that it didn't exist
        at
        > all (as defended here by Piotr), through that it was a labialized
        > variant of any of the above (/?w/, /hw/, /xw/), or that it was a
        > voiced sound (velar /G/, uvular /R/ or pharyngeal/epiglottal /3/).
        >
        > The Phoenician laryngeals were /?/ (<'a:lep>), /h/ (<he:'>), /H/
        > (<h.e:t>, merged with /x/ in Phoenician), and /3/ (<`ayin>, merged
        > with /G/ in Phoenician). They gave the Greek letters A, E, H and
        O.
        > If your Graeco-Punic-laryngeal theory were right, we would have had
        > Phoen A (/?/) = Greek /e/ (not /a/!) or Phoen. E (/h/) = Greek /e/
        > (ok), Phoen H (/H/)= Greek /a/ (not /h/ or /e:/!), Phoen. O (/3/) =
        > Greek /o/ (ok).
        >
        > In actual fact, the assignments were largely made based on the
        > voweling of the *name* of the letter. [']a:lep -> /a/, [h]e: -> /e/
        > (and [`]ayin was then used for /o/, perhaps helped by the Phoenician
        > development `áyin > `á:yin > `ó:yin (but likewise 'á:lep > 'ó:lep)).
        > <H.e:t> was kept as a "laryngeal" (for Greek /h/ < */s/, */j/),
        until
        > the aspiration was lost in the "psilotic" Greek dialects, chiefly
        > Ionian.


        > =======================
        > Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
        > mcv@w...

        "In actual fact"! I wish I knew that much. Anyway, two out of four is
        not that bad.
        A compromise suggestion: The Greeks start out using the Phoenician
        alphabet "as is". Down the road they lose their laryngeals. Now
        they reinterpret the ex-laryngeal letters based on the first vowel
        in its name instead of the now lost laryngeal (but then I would have
        to find an early Greek inscription with reversal of a and e). I
        believe something similar happened to one of the runes of the futhark
        (ja > a ?).

        Torsten
      • MCLSSAA2@fs2.mt.umist.ac.uk
        ... (Subject: Re: Greek laryngeals):- ... Some people talk about two different H1 s. If so, one was /?/ and the other was /h/. ... I think it was epiglottal
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 9, 2001
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          --- In cybalist@y..., Miguel Carrasquer Vidal <mcv@w...> wrote
          (Subject: Re: Greek laryngeals):-
          > PIE had, as far as we can tell by what they did to the vowels, three
          > laryngeals: *h1, *h2 and *h3. It is not known exactly how they were
          > pronounced, but some of the options can be narrowed down. *h1 must
          > have been /?/ or /h/, a weak sound that disappeared everywhere.

          Some people talk about two different H1's. If so, one was /?/ and the
          other was /h/.

          > *h2 was maintained in Anatolian as velar /x/ (or uvular /X/), and
          > it's reasonable to suppose this was also its original value
          > (pharyngeal/epiglottal /H/ is another possibility).

          I think it was epiglottal /H/ as Arabic in e.g. the name /Muh2ammad/.
          PIE epiglottal /H/ could easily have presented in Anatolian as the
          German ach-laut, or similar, as I know from scuba diving in the Red
          Sea and in the process having the (pleasure?) of trying to pronounce
          Arabic laryngeals in the course of learning some of the native
          language, sounds not in the previous languages of either me then, or
          of the Anatolians before PIE-speakers invaded from the steppes.

          Is uvular /X/ a fricativised version of /q/?

          > *h3 is the hardest to pin down, and opinions vary between that it
          > didn't exist at
          > all (as defended here by Piotr), through that it was a labialized
          > variant of any of the above (/?w/, /hw/, /xw/), or that it was a
          > voiced sound (velar /G/, uvular /R/ or pharyngeal/epiglottal /3/).

          I think it was /3/, the ayin sound. In my mouth at least, it tends to
          o-flavor adjacent front vowels. If it was any other of the suggestions
          here, it would likely have presented in recorded languages as /w/ or a
          guttural more often. Compare the equation Latin `odi' = Greek
          `odussomai' = "I hate", Arabic /3adu:w/ = "enemy", all from root
          /3-d-w/, and Greek `a(w)e:mai' = "of a wind, to blow". Arabic /Hawa:?/
          = "air", all from root /H2-w-?/, if you believe in an old connection
          between PIE and Semitic.

          What is progress so far in people writing connected text in PIE? I
          have heard of Schleichter's fable about the sheep and the horses, but
          any hope of legally discussion of it here is grossly handcuffed by
          copyright rules.

          > The most interesting thing about the Iberian script (not alphabet!)
          > is ... <http://rabbitmoon.home.mindspring.com/asw/iberian.html>):

          I tried to look at that page just now, twice, and it has gone 404.
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