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50Re: Nasal infixion in Indo-European languages and in Quenya

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  • pavel_iosad
    Jun 8 6:44 AM
      Hello,

      Hans wrote:
      > Since one would only expect another vowel here, this is an
      > indication for ancient nasal vowels, changing into "in/en/an"
      > later. Such nasal vowels remained in some other Indo-European
      > languages (Polish), they aren't a mere hypothesis.

      The Polish nasals are a remainder of the Proto-Slavic nasal vowels,
      in which respect Slavic is, to the best of my knowledge, unique. The
      Slavic nasal vowels have appeared as a result of the open syllable
      law, which did not permit closed sylables, and so all -Vn(-) and -Vm-
      groups changed into either o~ or e~ (also the appearance of
      syllabic liquids and the reduced vowels). I do not recall reading of
      PIE nasal vowels anywhere.

      > Now nasal infixion plays an important role in Quenya. Is there any
      > hint at the former existence of nasal vowels in primitive Elvish?

      I'd say no. We have lots of PQ/CE forms, but nowhere is a nasal
      vowel indicated by Tolkien. And anyway is there such a kind of
      ablaut anywhere? The more knowledgeable people will doubtless
      clarify!

      The Quenya nasal infixion, it would seem, arose by analogy with the
      behaviour of basic verbs, where the nasal slipped inside the root by
      metathesis.

      Pavel
      --
      Pavel Iosad pavel_iosad@...

      'I am a philologist, and thus a misunderstood man'
      --JRR Tolkien, _The Notion Club Papers_
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