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325Re: Palatalization and Syllabification in Quenya

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  • Rich Alderson
    Feb 20, 2003
      On 19 Feb 2003, Pavel Iosad wrote _inter alia_:

      > There is also a solution in the lines of Modern Greek, where the /mp nt ng/
      > used to substitute voiced stops in loans, as in _mpar_ 'bar', but as opposed
      > to the /mp/ type, /mb/ cluster are semiotically suspect (just as the
      > traditional PIE reconstruction, which can be a strong argument *for*).

      It must be noted here that this is a matter of Modern Greek _spelling_, not of
      _phonetics_ or _phonology_. The spelling rule for foreign borrowings arose out
      of the historical development of clusters of nasal + voiceless stop to nasal +
      voiced stop, and the constraint against spirantization of original voiced stops
      following nasals, followed by the loss of homorganic nasal before voiced stops
      in certain positions. Following these changes, the spellings which once
      represented [mp] [nt] [Nk] represented first [mb] [nd] [Ng], and later, in most
      dialects, [b] [d] [g].

      In Cretan Greek, initial voiced stops became prenasalized, as a development
      from sandhi of the accusative case of the article (which ended in [n]); in
      other dialects, they became fricatives, as elsewhere. So the only way to spell
      a voiced stop in Greek is with the grapheme clusters <mp> <nt> <gg>.

      So Greek spelling has nothing to tell us about PQ phonology.

      Rich
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