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Re: Nasal infixion in Indo-European languages andin Quenya

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  • p_iosad
    Hello, ... Which would then require some sort of highly irregular ablaut rule. Irregular ise of word-forming affixes looks much more likely to me than
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 11, 2002
      Hello,
      Hans wrote:

      > 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
      > Proto-Eldarin.

      Which would then require some sort of highly irregular ablaut rule.
      Irregular ise of word-forming affixes looks much more likely to me
      than irregular ablaut. And anyway (I think I've said it) I don't
      think there even exists this kind of ablaut in Terran languages, or
      at least in European ones.

      > 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.

      Huh? French doesn't have palatalization as a phonologically relevant
      feature, but Romanian does. Should we assume it was there in Latin?
      A bit of a strained example, but I think it fits :-)

      > 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).

      If both Quenya and Sindarin have nasal infixions, why invent nasal
      vowels, expecially when lacking explicit statements?

      > 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. :-)

      There are numerous explicit examples of such metathesis, as in
      _lambe_, "probably from _lab-mee_" (XI:416).

      > 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.

      But Old Church Slavonic nasals come precisely from simple vowels (I
      guess I'm restating here). Also, the examples you cited earlier
      (German _denken_ vs. _dachte_) also have to do nothing with nasal
      vowels, as this ariation is due to the common Germnaic proces of the
      loss of [N] before [h], cf. thincan > think, but thunxte > thuuxte >
      thought.

      Overall, I think there's no evidence for nasal vowels in PQ or CE.

      Pavel
      --
      Pavel Iosad pavel_iosad@...

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

      [OK, Hans asked an interesting question and posed a thoughtful hypothesis,
      which has been explored and found wanting (as Hans himself made clear he
      recognized might be the case). We all learned something along the way.
      So thanks, Hans; and thanks to all who have participated. Carl]
    • anthonyappleyard
      ... Pronouncing Latin C and G soft before front vowels, and J as [dzh], did not happen in Julius Caesar s time, but it did when the Western Empire fell, and it
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 11, 2002
        --- In lambengolmor@y..., "p_iosad" <pavel_iosad@m...> wrote:

        > ... palatalization as a phonologically relevant feature, but
        > Romanian does. Should we assume it was there in Latin? ...

        Pronouncing Latin C and G soft before front vowels, and J as [dzh],
        did not happen in Julius Caesar's time, but it did when the Western
        Empire fell, and it got into all the Romance languages except
        Sardinian. The next stage was analogical levelling across declensions
        and conjugations.
      • hglundahl
        ... declensions ... Well, the grammarians did not recognise palatalization in Latin in Caesar s time, but there was palatalization in an extinct Italic
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 14, 2002
          --- In lambengolmor@y..., "anthonyappleyard" <Anthony.Appleyard@u...>
          wrote:
          > --- In lambengolmor@y..., "p_iosad" <pavel_iosad@m...> wrote:
          >
          > > ... palatalization as a phonologically relevant feature, but
          > > Romanian does. Should we assume it was there in Latin? ...
          >
          > Pronouncing Latin C and G soft before front vowels, and J as [dzh],
          > did not happen in Julius Caesar's time, but it did when the Western
          > Empire fell, and it got into all the Romance languages except
          > Sardinian. The next stage was analogical levelling across
          declensions
          > and conjugations.

          Well, the grammarians did not recognise palatalization in Latin in
          Caesar's time, but there was palatalization in an extinct Italic
          language (Oscan, I think) and it might have come that way to rustic
          Latin (and rustic pronunciation of cultured Latin) already then.

          You should not say "when the Western Empire fell", but "when Odoacar
          deposed Romulus Augustulus", which did not mean the complete downfall
          of the Empire even in the West. Syagrius kept on the Empire in Gaul,
          St Rémi kept up his work, and when he crowned Clovis, the first King
          of France was accorded the title of Roman Consul by the Eastern
          Emperor.

          Hans Georg Lundahl
        • hglundahl
          To return to the main issue: there was a theory about, claiming that nasal infixion was originally a nasal suffix in IE, like fingo from *fig-n-o. When JRRT
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 15, 2002
            To return to the main issue: there was a theory about, claiming that
            nasal infixion was originally a nasal suffix in IE, like fingo from
            *fig-n-o. When JRRT wrote the original Proto-Eldarin background for Q
            and S, he might very well have taken account of that theory, though
            it is abandoned. So, maybe the nasal suffix theory of nasal infixion
            in Q should be abandoned as well - or retained as an optional
            explanation in IE too.

            As for palatals, they are between the dentals and the velars and the
            tyelpetéma becomes dental (telpe) in Telerin, velar in Sindarin
            (celeb). I do not know of any historic language having originally any
            distinction between palatals and both velars and dentals, but
            palatals may come from either. In Rom. languges they come from velars
            (compare Church Latin and Italian "Caesar" with Gk "Kaisar") but in
            Gaelic they come from dentals: "is" (pron. ish) "teine" (pron.
            chayney). So they are between velars and palatals, just as velars are
            between palatals and labialised velars: in Satem-languages the
            labialised series become velar, in Centum-languages the palatalised
            velars (not pure palatals! or?) become pure velars.

            The old and abandoned theory held PIE had all three series - and,
            once again, JRRT may have used that in Proto-Eldarin "reconstruction".

            Right?

            Hans Georg Lundahl
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