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Re: Question about Latin E and Slavic yat'

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Sunday, October 31, 2004, 23:49
Jan van Steenbergen wrote:

> During the last few weeks, I have been working on Wenedyk quite > intensively. .... > 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].
Unless I'm mistaken, long e diphthongized in certain envs. in French-- the pronouns me/te/se, words like lege-, rege-, credere, debere etc. (C-loss may have something to do with those; I don't recall the rules offhand.) Anyhow, I don't see any particular reason why long or tense vowels couldn't undergo breaking (or diphthongization); they did in German, Dutch and English after all.
>Now here's my question: when did this diphthongisation of [E] > take place in Romance?
It must have been common, since it affects Romanian as well as the western languages 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?
Substratum perhaps? The universal panacea for perplexed linguists :-))) (snip the _yat_ discussion; out of my bailiwick)
> 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. >
It seems a little contradictory (to me) that low vowels would raise, while high vowels would lower.


Muke Tever <hotblack@...>
Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>