Re: Sound Change Susceptibility
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Friday, November 7, 2003, 6:25|
On Wednesday, November 5, 2003, at 08:39 PM, Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
> At 22:00 4.11.2003, John Cowan wrote:
>> > 2.) They could devoice, if voiced. Nasals don't have a salient
>> > counterpart, so they have nothing to devoice to. While it's entirely
>> > it's highly unlikely in initial environment, because what would cause
>> such a
>> > devoicing?
>> In Welsh, I believe it's a final -s in the preceding word that has been
>> that does the devoicing (and aspiration).
> Not in the case of nasals.
Indeed not - I must've missed this one when John wrote it.
> Welsh voiceless nasals come from *mp, *nt, *nk.
Whether they're really voiceless nasals is arguable. The nasals
concerned - mh /m_h/, nh /n_h/, ngh /N_h/ - have marked aspiration
as an off glide. The Old English |hn| cannot have been the same as
modern Welsh |nh|, otherwise the spelling of the Old English would've
been as crazy as that of modern English!
It's noteworthy that, unlike |ll| and |rh|, the combos |mh|, |nh| and
|ngh| are _not_ regarded as separate 'letters' in Welsh ( |ng| is BTW
regarded as a separate letter; it's placed between |g| and |h|). The
aspiration does, of course, cause some devoicing of the nasal.
> Don't know the details.
Basically as you said.
It's the counter part of what happens with voiced plosives:
/mb/ --> /m/, /nd/ --> /n/, /Ng/ --> /N/
/mp/ --> /m_h/, /nt/ --> /n_h/, /Nk/ --> /N_h/
For example: fy(n) /v@(n)/ "my"
brawd 'brother' ~ fy mrawd 'my brother'
dosbarth 'class' ~ fy nosbarth 'my class'
gardd 'garden' ~ fy ngardd /v@'NarD/ 'my garden'
pen 'head' ~ fy mhen 'my head'
tad 'father' ~ fy nhad 'my father'
ci /ki/ 'dog' ~ fy nghi 'my dog'