Re: Proto-Semitic (was Re: markjjones@HOTMAIL.COM)
|From:||Rob Haden <magwich78@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, March 8, 2005, 20:41|
On Tue, 8 Mar 2005 20:58:23 +0100, Steven Williams <feurieaux@...>
>--- Rob Haden <magwich78@...> wrote:
>> It seems typologically unlikely that Semitic had
>> /ts/, /dz/, and /S/, but not /s/ (if not also /z/).
>I also have heard from one source or another that
>there was an opposition between laminal and apical [s]
>in PS, which may explain a few things. I like the
>theory that *[S] was *[s] better; it makes more sense,
>typologically. Or we could just accept that there was
>a three-way split between *[ts], *[dz] and *[S] and
>move on. There're weirder phonologies out there...
Sorry, what's the difference between laminal and apical?
If there was */ts/, */dz/, and */s/, then we could say that */K/ became /S/
in Arabic (rather than merging with /S/). However, the South Arabian
languages have both /K/ and /S/. Perhaps */s/ > /S/, */ts/ > /s/, and
*/dz/ > /z/ there. But what would cause /s/ to become /S/?
>> One interesting part of Semitic morphology is in its
>> verbal system.
>Hoo yeah... :)
>> There's a class of verbs called 's-stems', with
>> transitive/causative, destative, or denominal
>> meanings. However, they don't begin with s- at all,
>> it seems; in Arabic they begin with '-, Akkadian
>> with -, and Hebrew with h-:
>We-eird... It also seems somewhat anomalous that
>switching consonants around like that could serve a
>concrete grammatical function. The Semitic languages
>look more and more like some bizarre loglanging
>experiment gone horribly awry...
Heh, you're telling me. :) I don't mean to sound pretentious, but I wonder
if the traditional interpretation of written Akkadian is a little
incorrect. Not only does Akkadian show || in the S-stems, where Arabic
shows ?- and Hebrew h-, but it also has || in the personal pronouns:
u: 'he', i: 'she' (cf. Arabic huwa 'he', hiya 'she'). So the question
is, did Akkadian retain an earlier /S/ where Arabic and Hebrew did not?