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Another Urianian phonology problem.

From:Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...>
Date:Monday, May 26, 2008, 23:56
I want to discuss another Urianian phonology problem here. Often it
helps just setting the problem out properly - it doesn't necessarily
even make it to the list.

I thought I had found a clever way to deal with the PIE aspirated
labiovelars that gave me a foundation for the vir-vyr-or forms in
various parts of the highlands, by assuming that the /gh/ part of the
phoneme is lost and only a rounding remains, manifesting itself as a /
w/ phoneme, so that for example gwher > wer > vir-vyr-or.

This is parallel to the loss of the aspirated voiced velar /gh/.
However the loss of the aspirated voiced velar is gradual, in that
first the stop is lost, leaving an aspiration that manifests itself
in an /h/ phoneme, which then later is lost. This is necessary
because the /h/ is still found in the east and also in some lost
southern dialects. Example: gher > her > er > ir/ar. (In a late
change, highland dialects front their /e/'s, while lowland dialects
back them.)

Possibly I am facing a /gwh/ > /wh/ > /w/ process in the labiovelars.
It seems to be a kind of competition between the various phases of
the phoneme, where in the case of the labiovelar, the rounding wins,
and in the case of the velar, the aspiration wins. But I don't feel
comfortable with it. Also now I have found some lowland forms written
_chi_, _kha_ and similar and I think the aspirated labiovelars are
the best candidates for explaining them, for semantical and
morphological reasons.

Now, the unaspirated labiovelars regularly turn into fricatives in an
early stage. /gw/ > /j/, /kw/ > /C/. In the lowlands the voiced ones
generally lose their voice and merge with the unvoiced ones, and in
the highlands they suffer the same voicing changes as the stops,
otherwise they are not changed since this early phase.

So maybe the aspirated labiovelars should do an early /gwh/ > /jh/?
That would give me an opportunity for working out something that
could give a modern sound written _ch_ or _kh_. But then I lose the
highland _vir_-_vyr_-_or_ that has worked well semantically so far.
And I don't really fancy having Old Urianians walking around saying /
zejhros/, /jheros/, /senjhim/ and that sort of stuff. It wouldn't be
like them.

Can the Middle Urianian form be something else than /we/ and still
give modern /vi/ alternating with /vy/ and /o/? Will I need to have
the highland dialects splitting from the lowlanders already at the
M.U. stage (roughly 1500 ybp)? That is the best choice perhaps. Well,
I'll give up on this for now, it's getting late.

BTW, I found from NASA's site that there's a total solar eclipse in
Uriania in 2015. I'd like to take the trip if I'm able...



Edgard Bikelis <bikelis@...>