Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Shady Austronesian Linguistics (Waponi)

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Sunday, July 23, 2000, 4:39
Further thoughts on how Latin and Polynesian might interact, for
consideration and comment.

The simple sound changes:
p, f > f
b, mp/mb > p
t, nt > t  (> ts or s /_i
k, kw, Nk, Nkw > k
g, gw, Ng, Ngw > N (velar nas.)
w > w
j > i
h, ks > ? (glottal stop)
s > h;     in s+stop, stop+s (except ks)  > 0
ns > ts or s
z > ts or s
(Q: How were greek phi, chi, theta, zeta pronounced in 1st Century? )

a > a
i > i, tendency to > e/ aC_
e > e  (-er- > E / _C-, perhaps other sources too)
o > o  (-or- > O/ _C      ditto  )
u > u, tendency to > o/ aC_
(as to length, no firm decision yet; likewise the diphthongs.  I don't know
if we want to get into Romance-type mergers)

More problematical:
d > t initially, elsewhere (via **r) merges with l
nd > t
r, l > l :  retained between front vowels, but velarized > w elsewhere--
this /w2/ < l I believe should be distinct from /w1/ < w; perhaps w2 a
non-syllabic _u_, w1 a weakly articulated _v_??
It occurred to me today that it might be amusing to retain at least initial
Stop+r/l, whereby we would get such forms as plenus:  pwenu;  gratia:
kwatse (the original cluster blocks the normal p/f, g/N shifts).  This /w/
is lost next to rounded vowels:  pluvium:  puvi;  plorare:  po(w)aa (?) ~
plorat: po(w)a.

Note that felix > fewi, which could then become the word for "gay" ;-)

So far I've been assuming that nouns will derive from the nominative, unless
it's a monosyllable, in which case, the acc., so nocte-: note, pede-: fele;
verbs probably best from the 3d sing pres.  One interesting case of homonymy
has turned up:  rege- and lege- both : weke.

Obviously final C(C) > 0, as well as the 2d of two unstressed vowels (cf.
kwatse, puvi).  Antepenultimate stress might survive at first, but
eventually the pressure towards penult stress would prevail, and antepenults
would > 0; so ultimately tsua (sua) < **ítsuwa < insula. (Gk. nesos:  neho
avoids the problem)

Given the above, can anyone come up with a source for Waponi?  (Woo /wu/? I
think is < vult, perhaps the future tense marker?)  Or perhaps a different
name-- we would'nt want the Legal Dept. of Paramount or whoever to descend
on us.
I won't tackle the grammar until I've received my Maori book, or maybe I'll
pop for Teach Yrself Samoan.   Enough for now.  Roger (Wuke < **Rutker <
Rudiger/Hrothgar I think)