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Re: Sound changes

From:julien eychenne <eychenne.j@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 20, 2002, 11:17
At 23:31 19/08/2002 +0100, you wrote:
>Hi all! > >Are there any rules for sound changes in a language? I mean if I'd like to >create a new dialect, or a new language from an existing one, is it just >the question of my taste, which sound changes I use? Or are there any >changes, that cannot happen together.... If I'd like to create 2 dialects, >which sound changes can I use? (I mean if I use similar ones, I'll get >only 1 dialect :) I hope you understand what I mean.....
Actually it depends first on your phonological system ;) But one great principle in linguistics (I do love it!) is the tendency to do the less possible. So almost all linguistic changes go easier. To make realistic shifts, you should (must?) pay attention to assimilation. For example, a sequence /ki/ will often turn to /ci/, or /t^Si/, or even /t^si/ (palatalization) but it is (almost) impossible that /ki/ > /qi/ (uvular plosive). However, /ku/ (or /ko/) can easily become /qu/ as the vowel is back. You may wonder if a palatalization of /k/ in /ku/ is possible. It is, but if you have /ku/ > /cu/, you must absolutely have also /ci/, and /ce/, because (/i e/ are front and /u o/ are back). This could happen because kk simplifies to /k/, to keep the system coherent. I give you an example with an hypothetical language : ** ORIGINAL SYSTEM ** p t k kk s I don't discuss the fact that kk (or k:) is phonemic or not. But just suppose you have a great number of minimal pairs with kk such as : aki vs akki toke vs tokke puku vs pukku soko vs sokko then you can imagine that kk, which appears often, simplifies to k. But k exists, so k palatalizes to c. Hence : ** NEW SYSTEM ** p t c (originally *k) k (originally *kk) s aci vs aki toce vs toke pucu vs puku soco vs soko Of course, it doesn't happen at the same time, and for instance you can have first ki > ci, then ke > ce and only after ku > cu and ko > co. Here is an example, but a lot of changes can happen. Feel free to ask for more details or explanations if it's not clear. If you want, I can help you design those changes or just give you a few ways to go from your original system ;). Julien.


michael poxon <m.poxon@...>
julien eychenne <eychenne.j@...>