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THEORY: sound change (was RE: Language revival)

From:And Rosta <a.rosta@...>
Date:Thursday, November 25, 1999, 1:54
John Cowan:
> Lars Henrik Mathiesen wrote: > > > Speech communities will sometimes abandon a sound change when it has > > only been applied to some parts of the lexicon. > > And some sound changes are plain unpredictable in their > application. In Modern French, why francais, but danois? > No apparent reason (OF had -ois for both).
Changes in phonetic realization of phonemes are regular. Changes in phonemic incidence (=which phonemes occur in which words in which order) are not inherently regular; they can progress word by word, driven quite possibly by analogy, among other factors. So the regularity of sound change remains a fact, provided "sound change" is taken in a restricted meaning of "phonetic change". If anyone knows of any exceptions to the above claims, I'd be interested to hear them. I'm not gagging to start a massive debate on the topic, though. --And.