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Re: [Lambengolmor] _rg_ in Quenya

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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