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Quenya rg > ry before back vowels

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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