181Re: i and y in Quenya: two phonemes or one?
- Aug 5, 2002--- In lambengolmor@y..., Ales Bican <ales.bican@s...> wrote:
> I thought about it today: are sounds _i_ (as in _Quendi_) and _y_In the positions you cite, I believe that they are different phonemes.
> (as in _Yavanna_) two phonemes or variants of one phoneme in
> [...]There is a situation that is very much like this in Finnish.
> However, we have words like _aiya_. I am not convienced that this
> can be an evidence of _y_ and _i_ occurring beside each other, as
> _i_ is here a part of the diphtong _ai_. Furthermore, Tolkien also
> spelled this sequence as _aia_ and _áya_, cf. _vaháya_ (LR:47),
> _vahaiya_ (SD:247) and _vahaia_ (SD:312) (note that it is in fact
> the same text). These spellings are not ambiguous.
Let me phrase this similarly to your statements:
However, we have words like _paijata_ "stroke, pet" and _juoksi(j)a_
"runner". I am not convienced that this can be an evidence of _j_ and
_i_ occurring beside each other, as the _j_ between the vowels is only an
orthographic phenomenon, not observed in spoken speech. Furthermore,
some linguistics and common people would spell these sequences as
_paiata_ and _juoksia_. These spellings are not ambiguous. The reason
for this is that the _j_ sound in medial position between vowels isn't the
same sound at all as the _j_ occuring in the beginning of words. It
is a medial sound to ease the transition to the next vowel.
> Hence I think the two sound occurring in _Quendi_ and _Yavanna_Hence I think the two sounds occurring in _Quendi_ and _Yavanna_
> are two variants of one invariant /i/ -- [i] being a vocalic allomorph
> and [y] a consonantal one. Well, perhaps it was obvious. In Czech,
> _i_ and _y_ are two phonemes, so I tend to treat them so. (And
> perhaps it is not obvious at all; in that case I am prepared for any
> Ales Bican
are not two variants of one invariant /i/ -- the vocalic [i] is an
independent phoneme from [y], just as [w] is independent from
[u], there being no correlation between them in "The Etymologies"
or elsewhere. Besides, if your theory is true, why is it _áya_ and not
**_aya_? So, IM(quite)HO, the usage of _y_ in the orthography of
Quenya can be outlined thus:
1. In the beginning of a word, and between single consonants,
it stands for a vocalic consonant.
2. After a consonant it palatalizes the preceeding cosonant.
3. After a diphthong it stands for a medial easing sound.
I don't know if this is right, but the usage of _j_ in the dialect
around the city of Tampere (according to my understanding)
would be exactly like the usage _y_ in Quenya.
Petri Tikka Helsinki, Finland
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