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Re: Question about Latin E and Slavic yat'

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Monday, November 1, 2004, 6:40
On Sunday, October 31, 2004, at 08:15 , Jan van Steenbergen wrote:

> First of all, diphthongisation. According to my books, Latin long E > and OE were pronounced [e] in Vulgar Latin, while Latin short E and > AE were pronounced [E].
> 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. 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).
> But > I'm slowly finding out that in all Romance languages except > Portuguese diphthongisation occurred rather in the short version,
Portuguese did not retain the simple Latin vowels; it _monophthongized_ diphthongs that had developed in western Romance and medieval Iberian Romance. 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. In some areas, e.g. the Iberian peninsular, they also became rising diphthongs in blocked syllables; but this did not happen in Gaul or Italy. In unstressed syllables there was no diphthongization.
> [E]. Now here's my question: when did this diphthongisation of [E] > take place in Romance?
In the stressed unblocked syllables in VL.
> 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.
> > 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. 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. Ray =============================================== =============================================== Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight, which is not so much a twilight of the gods as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]


Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>