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_s_ > _h_ and parallel mutations

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  • Helios De Rosario Martinez
    In http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lambengolmor/message/723 ... I have realized that calling _s_ _h_ a dental to velar shift is unnacurate. Phonetically, [s]
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 17, 2004
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      I wrote:

      > Labiodental spirant > labiovelar spirant (_f_ > _chw_) would be
      > perfectly symmetric to dental spirant > velar spirant (_s_ > _h_).

      I have realized that calling _s_ > _h_ a "dental to velar" shift is
      unnacurate. Phonetically, [s] is an _alveolar_ sound, and [h] a
      _glottal_ one. Dental spirant would be [T] and velar [x] ((X-)SAMPA
      codes used).

      Alveolar sounds are very approximate to dental, as glottal are to
      velar. In fact, some languages do not fully distinguish between ones
      and anothers, as happens in Quenya spoken by the Exiles (see
      LR:1096-1097, and how the loremasters classified _s_ in the T-series,
      in VT41:8). This Quenya levelling was the cause that led me to not
      making the distinction in my post, since I was appealed by the text in
      VT41, that dealt with the (false) Vanyarin confusion between _Fëanáro_
      and _Hwëanáro_ declared in a jest by Fëanor; I found it very
      interesting as it recalls the mutation from _Feanor_ to _Chweanor_
      commented in the previous post. But opposite to Quenya, the
      distinction between those sounds was kept in Sindarin, as well as in
      the Noldorin of Etym., that was the language under discussion.

      So, being accurate, it is not correct to talk about a Noldorin
      mutation from dental to velar, since _th_ > _ch_ is not attested
      anywhere (and probably it did not occur). Still, this does not
      invalidate that _ph_ / _f_ > _chw_ was perhaps modelled as a mutation
      parallel to _s_ > _h_. Another comparable mutation would be, by the
      way, _h_ > _ch_ (glottal to velar spirants), that occurs in _Fingolfin
      aran Chithlum_ (V:322, and Etym. s.v. TÂ-, TA3-), and goes back to the
      early Gnomish Grammar (PE11:7).

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