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Evolution of Romance (was: **Answer to Pete**)

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Friday, February 1, 2008, 14:37
On Wed, 30 Jan 2008 19:18:42 +0100, Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:

>I have wondered for long how k' merged with tj in Gallo- and >Ibero-Romance and come to the conclusion that it was *not* >via a progression k; > c > tS > ts but rather that k' merged >with tj directly. It is believable in that at least to the >naked ear the two palatalized sounds k' and t' sound much >more similar to each other than the non-palatalized k and t.
You'd consider kj) > tS in Italian a separate development then?
>But how come then that when g' and d' merge they both become >/dZ/ and not both /dz/? Perhaps simply because d' was so >infrequent to begin with?
Regardless, you'd need to assume a rather asymmetric intermediate system with tj) vs. gj). Altho I suppose this could have happened at a stage before there were any significant amounts of imported Germanic gw); then the precence of the third voiceless velar kw) could have provided the push for kj) but not gj). But then one is left to wonder why didn't it unround until new kj) and gj) had developed (French) if at all (Spanish)? Or why didn't plain k do anything in this chain?
>An older generation of Romanists thought that g' >in all positions went through a [j] stage before becoming >/dZ/, and that this together with a prestige pronunciation >of the letter _z_ as d' worked against a merger. It is >notable that the lenited reflex of k' is _dz_ but that of g' >is [j]!
So what does speak against this route? Far as I kno (admittedly not all that far) it seems to fit the data just as well, and explains the t' <> g' asymmetry with fewer assumptions.
>(There is no "alveolar" diacritic in CXS: [tdnszl] are >alveolar by default. I guess the 'retracted' [_-] diacritic >could be used as well (which would then agree with the way >Dravidianists mark alveolar consonants with a subscript >minus); [d_+] could then mean a "postdental" [d] as opposed >to interdental [d_d] if one wants to.)
To go on a slight tangent, this is another place where a more unified conlang community would be helpful. The ZBB has worked out ASCII transcriptions for everything in the Extended IPA as well, and many other things (non-alveolar lateral frics, epiglottal trill, etc). Their Z-SAMPA symbol for "explicitly alveolar" (corresponding to the ExtIPA dubbel underline) is [_a\]. I would understand [d_-] to mean a postalveolar voiced stop! John Vertical


Benct Philip Jonsson <melroch@...>