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_rg_ in Quenya

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  • Ales Bican
    ... **So would it surprise me. I did not want to say that it should really be a gamma but the development in QPh I mentioned last time (i.e. _r _ ... **I
    Message 1 of 18 , Jan 5, 2004
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      Andreas Johansson wrote:

      >>>In Etym, under TARAG, we se *_targâ_ as the ancestral form of Q >_tarya_.
      >>>
      >> ... I cannot quite understand the change of _g_ to _y_. Perhaps the _y_ in
      >> _tarya_ is a misreading for _g_ and we will have the very first word with
      >> _rg_? And looking at development of _gh_ (written as gamma) in PE12:24
      >> where _rgh_ gave _rg_, it may even be that the _y_ is a misreading for a
      >> gamma.
      >
      > Well, as there's to the very best of my knowledge no (other) Q word with a
      > gamma in it, it would rather surpise me.

      **So would it surprise me. I did not want to say that it should really be a
      gamma but the development in QPh I mentioned last time (i.e. _r<gamma>_
      > _rg_) struck my attention. Gamma is after all similar to _y_.

      > And _g_>_gh_>_y_ is hardly very odd. Greek's done it before front vowels,
      > f'rinstance, and Noldorin seems to much the same in _Diriel_<_Dirghel_
      > (mentioned under DER in Etym), where the second element is from GYEL.

      **I do not claim that it cannot be possible. I would only like to understand
      the development. If this happened in Greek before front vowels, it is
      understandable, since after spirantization _g_ could have been assimilated
      to _i_ or _e_, sc. fronted to become palatal fricative and then become (or
      remained fricative?) palatal appoximant _y_. However, I can hardly see
      motivation in the case of _targâ_ > Q _tarya_.

      > Unchanged _-rg-_ wouldn't agree with the statement in Appendix E that
      > Q only had _g_ in _-ng-_, but of course, the Professor may have changed
      > his mind between writing Etym and LotR.

      **Sure he could and very likely did, as suggests e.g. _ei_ in _inimeite_
      (Etym s.v. INI).

      >There's also Q _felya_ from PHELEG- - no primitive form listed, but almost
      >certainly *_phelgâ_; cf AT _felga_ and ON _phelga_. This would be a parallel
      >development.

      **Two instances make it more probable but still I am interested in what A&C
      will say about it.


      Ales Bican

      --
      What's in a name? That which we call a rose
      by any other name would smell as sweet. (Juliet, _Romeo and Juliet_)
    • Andreas Johansson
      ... Because I m a dudhead, I forgot to mention you get rG rj also in Swedish. I m not sufficiently into the phonological development of my native language to
      Message 2 of 18 , Jan 6, 2004
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        Quoting Ales Bican <ales.bican@...>:

        > Quoting Andreas Johansson:
        > > And _g_>_gh_>_y_ is hardly very odd. Greek's done it before front vowels,
        > > f'rinstance, and Noldorin seems to much the same in _Diriel_<_Dirghel_
        > > (mentioned under DER in Etym), where the second element is from GYEL.
        >
        > **I do not claim that it cannot be possible. I would only like to understand
        >
        > the development. If this happened in Greek before front vowels, it is
        > understandable, since after spirantization _g_ could have been assimilated
        > to _i_ or _e_, sc. fronted to become palatal fricative and then become (or
        > remained fricative?) palatal appoximant _y_. However, I can hardly see
        > motivation in the case of _targâ_ > Q _tarya_.

        Because I'm a dudhead, I forgot to mention you get rG > rj also in Swedish.
        I'm not sufficiently into the phonological development of my native language
        to tell exactly in what environments, but it seems to have failed to take
        place medially before a back vowel (e.g. _morgon_ ['mOr`gOn] "morning"),
        but it did happen finally (e.g. _varg_ [var`j] "wolf"*), so no front vowel is
        _required_ for it. You do get it before 'a' (e.g. _vargar_ ['var`jar`] "wolves"),
        but then this is a front [a], not back [A] like in Q, and all examples of -rga-
        I can think of have a morpheme boundary in them anyway.

        * This is of course not the cognate of "wolf" - that's _ulv_ [8lv]. But I
        suspect it's very much connected to Tolkienian "warg"!

        Andreas

        PS Phonetic transcriptions above follow the X-SAMPA system, which is described
        here: http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/sampa/x-sampa.htm . Note further that
        values are for my dialect - in particular, a retroflex trill is far from the
        only variant of Swedish /r/ heard! Indeed, in casual speech some of those
        would be retroflex approximants for me.
      • David Kiltz
        ... In addition to Andreas Johansson s examples from Swedish, I might add that in some German dialects the same happens. In the Rhineland area you have /ju:t/
        Message 3 of 18 , Jan 6, 2004
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          On 05.01.2004, at 23:27, Ales Bican wrote:

          > I can hardly see
          > motivation in the case of _targâ_ > Q _tarya_.

          In addition to Andreas Johansson's examples from Swedish, I might add
          that in some German dialects the same happens. In the Rhineland area
          you have /ju:t/ for SG (=Standard German) _gut_ etc. (the 'j' being
          pronounced very similar to English 'y' but with some palatal friction).
          In fact, moving towards the Ruhrgebiet you will hear /gürjen/ for the
          PN 'Jürgen', that is /j/ and /g/ are exchanged. Phonetically, what
          happens is that 'light', that is palatalized /g/ becomes a fricative
          which naturally yields /j/. Now (for your point) velar or
          non-palatalized /g/ should become /G/ (I mean the velar voiced back
          spirant). However the opposition /G/ : /j/ is leveled in favour of /j/.
          The reason for that would seem to be that a /G/ would normally be
          pronounced further down the throat than /g/ hence in the process of
          spirantization the point of articulation is moved either way (to the
          front or the rear of the gum). Possibly because the process of
          spirantization started with palatalized /g'/, i.e. g before front
          vowels and was then analogously extended to all instances of /g/. Or
          else, because the pronunciation of /g/ has already been somewhat
          fronted before, so that the output is /j/ without significant movement
          of the point of articulation, if any at all. In fact, there *is* a very
          slight difference between /j/ in _jeck_ 'crazy' and _jut_ 'good', the
          latter being pronounced somewhat more to the back, between the palatum
          and the velum.

          I think that a scenario along these lines looks rather likely. At any
          rate, the development exhibited by Quenya is well documented in real
          world languages, as /j/ = /y/ is attested even in the history of
          English (although the output of /g/ +- pal. are different).

          -David Kiltz
        • Lukas Novak
          ... I rather agree - I did not mean to imply where exactly the syllable boundary lies. ... Yes, but it seems that Q phonology avoids _w_ and _y_ glides
          Message 4 of 18 , Jan 6, 2004
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            Andreas Johansson wrote:

            > I'd rather expect the words to syllabify as fel.ya and u.lun.do,
            > respectively,

            I rather agree - I did not mean to imply where exactly the syllable
            boundary lies.

            > Another possible internal explanation that struck me right now is that it
            > could simply be due to the different following vowel.

            > [Comparison of derivatives of Etym. WÔ- (Q _o-_/_ó-_) and bases in WA-,
            > such as WA3- (Q _vára_), WAN- (Q _vanya_), etc. exhibit this contrast.
            > See also the statement in _Quendi and Eldar_ that initial _w-_ was "lost in
            > Quenya before _ô_" (XI:367). (Please note that I make no promise of
            > providing citations in the future!) CFH]

            Yes, but it seems that Q phonology avoids _w_ and _y_ glides
            consistently before the phonologically related vowels: the rounded
            vowels in case of _w_, and the highest vowel (_i_) in case of _y_.
            I would not on this ground expect that the following _u_ is the reason
            why _g_ disappears rather than changes into _y_ (we have "yulda",
            so _yu_ is allowed).

            Lukas
          • Lukas Novak
            ... I can think of 2 possible motivations: analogy, or getting the pronunciation nearer to the preceding dental/alveolar _r_ (_l_). Together with the attempt
            Message 5 of 18 , Jan 6, 2004
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              Ales Bican wrote:

              > I can hardly see motivation in the case of _targâ_ > Q _tarya_.

              I can think of 2 possible motivations: analogy, or getting
              the pronunciation nearer to the preceding dental/alveolar
              _r_ (_l_). Together with the attempt to retain the long syllable
              (which excludes just dropping the sound), because of
              its being stressed.

              Lukas
            • Andreas Johansson
              ... I never said it was a _good_ explanation, but if it has any validity, surely the consonant dropped at the gh stage, and gh is nearer to u than to
              Message 6 of 18 , Jan 7, 2004
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                Quoting Lukas Novak <lukas.novak@...>:

                > I would not on this ground expect that the following _u_ is the reason
                > why _g_ disappears rather than changes into _y_ (we have "yulda",
                > so _yu_ is allowed).

                I never said it was a _good_ explanation, but if it has any validity, surely
                the consonant dropped at the 'gh' stage, and 'gh' is nearer to 'u' than to 'a'.

                One might also argue that what we need explained isn't why 'gh' dropped in
                _ulundo_, which is the normal fate of 'gh' in Q, but why it failed to drop in
                _tarya_ and _felya_. In this light your suggestion re: maintaining length of a
                stressed syllable seems the more relevant explanation.

                Andreas
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