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Question about Latin E and Slavic yat'

From:Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>
Date:Sunday, October 31, 2004, 8:15
(sorry for crossposting)


During the last few weeks, I have been working on Wenedyk quite
intensively. The result is the largest batch of changes ever made to
the language since I started developing it. Basically, these changes
are the correction of mistakes I made in the beginning due to my very
limited knowledge about Vulgar Latin. Most problems are solved
easily, but one thing causes me so much trouble that it actually
stands in the way of any further work, and that's the letter E. I
would appreciate any help.

Two things about this vowel are bothering me.

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. But
I'm slowly finding out that in all Romance languages except
Portuguese diphthongisation occurred rather in the short version,
[E]. Now here's my question: when did this diphthongisation of [E]
take place in Romance? 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?

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. My books are
not generous with precise info about the nature of Slavic yat' and e,
but the general picture I'm getting is that yat' was pronounced [æ]
((&] in CXS), and the _e_ rather like [e] or [E]. I have a strong
feeling that there must be more to it, though, like vowel length or
pitch. Could somebody please enlighten me?

If my suspicions are true, I've been working with an [E] > [e] / [e]
> [&] schedule, which I really don't think can hold any longer.
Thanks in advance, 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!


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