OT: /r/ - /l/ - /n/ [was Re: OT: Rant about degres Celsius]
|From:||Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, December 18, 2001, 12:07|
Quoting Anton Sherwood <bronto@...>:
> > John Cowan eskrë: »
> > > What's really weird are the Latinized abbreviations
> > > for the English counties: Salop for Shropshire, e.g.
> James Campbell wrote:
> > Oh, sure, pick the weirdest one from the box <g>. Actually, "Salop"
> > has allus puzzled me, mainly because it just looks so... daft.
> The Normans broke up the cluster and (as in various other names,
> notably *cester) changed /S/ to /s/; but how /r/ became /l/ is
> beyond me.
A change of [r] to [l], or [l] to [r], is very frequent
typologically. The two sounds can sound very similar
acoustically if the /r/ is a tap or trill, and the /l/
is alveolar rather than velar, both of which were likely
the case in Norman French. In Georgian, for example,
the suffix /-ul/, which is used quite like English "-ish",
undergoes regular dissimilation by shifting /l/ to /r/
if there is a preceding /l/ in the word:
A similar dissimilation occurs with the Phaleran ordinal morpheme,
/l/ -> [r] if a consonant in the immediately preceding
syllable is [l];
[ra] if the syllable to which it is attached already
has two morae;
[dra] if the preceding syllable ends in a nasal;
[l] in any other circumstance.
1 esa esal
2 nû nul
3 meo myul
4 teo tyul
5 plenai plenaira
6 sorkwa sorkwal
7 phwali phwalir
It is also typologically common for /n/ to undergo the same
process as /l/. The ancient city of _Panormus_, in Sicily,
is today's _Palermo_. In Phaleran, the ergative case ending
/llu/ has an allomorph [dru] after nasals:
Phrâstyumen + llu 'Council of 20 + ERG' >
Phrâstyumen + ru >
Phrâstyumen + (d) + ru
where the [d] surfaces epenthetically to break apart an otherwise
impossible cluster (even across syllables!).
Thomas Wier <trwier@...> <http://home.uchicago.edu/~trwier>
"...koruphàs hetéras hetére:isi prosápto:n /
Dept. of Linguistics mú:tho:n mè: teléein atrapòn mían..."
University of Chicago "To join together diverse peaks of thought /
1010 E. 59th Street and not complete one road that has no turn"
Chicago, IL 60637 Empedocles, _On Nature_, on speculative thinkers