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Re: Question about Latin E and Slavic yat'

From:Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>
Date:Monday, November 1, 2004, 9:36
 --- Ray Brown skrzypszy:

> > Until now, I have been assuming that long E and long I > > diphthongised to [iE], thus giving SE: > *sje > sze. > > Wrong. > > Long-i did not diphthongize in any variety of Romance.
I've been looking at Romanian, and what I found is that T, D, S becames /ts/, /z/ and /S/ before short E and long I. If the process is the same as in Slavic (where the same thing happens), then something like /ti/ > /tii/ > /tji/ > /tsi/ must have been at work. I would be lying if I said that I copied this development from Romanian, but at least I was happy to find it confirmed there.
> Long-e (and short-i which in western Romance fell together with the > old long-e) diphthongized when stressed in north Gaul, thus _se_ > became *sej --> *sEj --> sOj (spelled _soi_ in Old French).
While that is indeed true in all living Romance languages, in the case of Wenedyk (and Slvanjec; my efforts have to a certain degree been coordinated with Benct's) I have mapped short I and U to the Slavic yers instead, which in my opinion is a reasonable (and for a project like ours inevitable) thing to do. An admittedly weak justification is the fact that the Slavo-Romance languages are neither East nor West Romance, but constitute a separate subgroup in IB.
> In all the romance langs, /O/ and /E/, which was the VL development > of Classical short-o and short-e (VL did not have phonemic long & > short vowels) became _rising diphthongs_ when in unblocked stressed > syllables.
Except in Portugese, as far as I have understood.
> In unstressed syllables there was no diphthongization.
True, I forgot to mention that. That is also true in Wenedyk, by the way.
> > [E]. Now here's my question: when did this diphthongisation of > > [E] take place in Romance? > > In the stressed unblocked syllables in VL.
Thanks. But my question was worded badly. By "when" I actually meant: in which century, more or less?
> > And, how likely would it be that it did not happen in the Vulgar > > Latin that would later develop into Wenedyk (and Slvanjec, for > > that matter), but that instead [e] were diphthongised? > > Not likely IMO. There would have be strong influences from native > langs of the area and also reasons why it was not subject to > contact with the wider VL world of merchants & legionaries.
Ah, but those have already been taken care of! :)
> > The second problem is the mapping to the Common Slavic yat' (e^]. > > For some reason, I have always mapped Latin long E and OE to the > > yat', and short E and AE to the Slavic E. Intuititively, that > > works well in general, but I'm having some doubts about > > plausibility. > > So am I - I would have thought it would have been the other way > round - but I'm no Slavic expert.
Neither am I. As it turned out, nobody knows precisely what the Ancient Slavic yat' sounded like. In West Slavic is was probably something like [&:], possibly also [j&:]. But then, Common Slavic is also a flexible thing, encompassing quite a lot of centuries. The fact that in Czech it becomes [i], while in Polish it becomes [E] ([a] before a hard dental consonant) isn't particularly helpful either.
> The Romance lang that actually did come under Slavic influence is > Romanian. Maybe you need to track down more specific info on the > development of Romanian.
I must admit that I have neglected Romanian far too much in the beginning, focussing on Classical Latin and (Western) Romance instead. I've worked quite a lot with Peter Boyd-Bowman's "From Latin to Romance in Sound Charts", which is a really nice work, but unfortunately deals only with the "big four" (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian). Changing 3000 words and a reasonably-sized corpus is not an easy task. I would undoubtedly have done a few things differently if I had known everything I know now from the beginning. At this stage, however, I'll rather limit myself to changing those things which are impossible or utterly implausible. Thank you for replying. Jan ===== "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito." Relay 10: ___________________________________________________________ALL-NEW Yahoo! Messenger - all new features - even more fun!