182Re: i and y in Quenya: two phonemes or one?
- Aug 6, 2002--- In lambengolmor@y..., Ales Bican <ales.bican@s...> wrote:
> As far as I can see they seems to agree with Trubetzkoy's third rulePossibly, they do: There's the pronominal suffix _-lye_ and the
> (they never occur in the same phonetic environs) and not to agree
> with the forth rule (one does not occurs beside the other).
suffix _-lie_, as in _Eldalie_. This could rule out the possibility
of allomorphs: they have to be variants of the same phoneme,
predictable from the environment where they occur.
However, the _i_ in diphthongs like _ai_ and the _y_ in combinations
like _ly_ don't seem to be independent phonemes. Both just modify the
pronunciation of the preceding sound, and this is confirmed by the
spelling in Tengwar (_ai_ as a-tehta over _yanta_, _ly_ as dots under
_lambe_, cf. "Namaarie" in _The Road Goes Ever On_). So if we reduce an
allomorph /y/ to the position "beginning of word, in front of a vowel",
and /i/ to "beginning of a word or after consonant", your hypothesis
could be defensible.
The question whether a vocal and a consonant can be similar enough to
count as allomorphs, is subjective. _y_ is a half-vowel, after all.
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