60Re: Nasal infixion in Indo-European languages andin Quenya
- Jun 10, 2002--- In lambengolmor@y..., Ivan A Derzhanski <iad@m...> wrote:
> Was the question about nasal vowels in the sense of syllabic nasalsI meant nasalised vowels, indeed. Let's illustrate it by an example
> (syllabic /m/, /n/, /N/, etc.), or about nasal vowels in the sense
> of nasalised vowels (nasalised /a/, /e/, /o/, etc.)? I understood it
> as referring to the latter.
from PIE (cf. http://indoeuro.bizland.com/project/phonetics/word4.html):
The root *wed-/*wod-, *wed-r- (meaning wet, water) has some cognates
with infixed -n-, like "unda" (wave) in Latin, or "vanduo" in
Lithuanian. Could it be that the proto-vowel was nasal? Since the
vowel could have a different quality in different derivations (vowel
gradation), it's clear that only some forms would have the nasal infix
later, when the nasal character was lost.
Let's have a look at some examples from Quenya:
ID- has the derivation _iire_ (desire) without nasal infixion, and
_indo_ (heart, mood) with an infixed -n-. (Etym., LR p. 401). This
could be explained by the different quality of the vowel in
Quenya doesn't have noticable traces of vowel gradation (if you don't
count the "irregular vocalism" in MEL- > _maalo_), but since it's
present in Sindarin, we must assume that it was present in PE, too.
It should be emphasized that I'm speaking of nasal vowels in PE here:
Quenya and Sindarin have almost the same nasal infixions, so the
change to normal vowel + nasal consonant must have happened before the
splitting of both lines of development, or at the same time (BAT- >
_bâd_ in EN, _vanta_ in Q, LR p. 390).
I have to admit that the theory may very well share the fate of other
1. are elegant,
2. explain a lot of facts,
3. are utterly wrong.
There's Occam's razor: it may be that we don't need the assumption,
because there are simpler explanations. In the entry AD- in Etym. (LR,
p. 385) _ando_ is derived from _*adno_, so the nasal infix comes from
a suffix (?) through metathesis. But then, it may be that the suffix
would be _-do_ without the nasal character of the stem. :-)
I know it's speculative, but I was reminded of Old Church Slavonian
with its open syllables, its short final vowel -i, and the nasal
vowels, explaining the "rebyonok/rebyata" (child/children) in Russian.
The theory could explain why otherwise similar roots developed with or
without nasal infixes:
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