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Re: Grammatical tones

From:Pablo David Flores <pablo-flores@...>
Date:Saturday, August 24, 2002, 1:50
H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...> writes:

> I don't know how plausible it is, but Ebisedian inflects gender by > shifting the stressed (high-pitched) syllable. Of course, in many cases > the consonant changes as well, but that is only because of emphasis.
I'm working on a similar thing for Senu Yivokuchi, only the tone is lost in the modern language. I also wanted to ask the experts whether this is plausible. It's quite similar to the Ebisedian emphasis-triggered alternation (I swear I didn't know!) but this is a human language and E. is not... The modern language has pairs like these: bir- 'know' / pir- 'wise man, sage' deka- 'painful' / teka- 'sick person, suffering one' The language has a pitch accent which I thought might come from a more complex tone system. One of these tones was an extra-low, creaky-voiced tone (like one I've heard Vietnamese has). This tone, applied on certain roots, changes the meaning from a state/action to an agent/ undergoer. Now, is it likely to have creaky voice become voicelessness, so as to arrive to the above results? /_k/ is creaky voice, which supposedly would spread: /bir/ + extra-low tone = /bi_kr/ or /b_ki_kr/ -> /pi_kr/ -> /pir/ (low pitch) Is an intermediate stage plausible (e. g. creaky voice becoming an intrusive glottal stop or glottalization, as in /b_ki_kr/ -> /b?i_kr/ -> /p'i_kr/ or /bhi_kr/)? The change from creaky voice to /?/ to /h/ would fit in nicely, since /bh/ -> /p/ regularly. (SYV has "aspirated" voiced stops alongside unvoiced ones, like PIE.) --Pablo Flores


H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>