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[Re: [Re: [Re: Roll Your Own IE language]]]

From:Edward Heil <edwardheil@...>
Date:Thursday, April 8, 1999, 20:40
Brian Betty <bbetty@...> wrote:
> Danny wrote: "A 'no-vowel' theory? Interesting... and actually possibl=
> if the H-phonemes could be mapped to vowels. This is my theory number =
> but I'm a bit more liberal and account four laryngeals, primarily becau=
> of the schwa. Of course 'syllabic' /j/ and /w/ would be /i/ and /u/, a=
> the other consonants become syllabic nasals/liquids." > =
> There are languages in the world that have no underlying vowels, but PI=
> seems to have underlying e and o, and possibly a (that is in great disp=
> - there is actually a book entitled "The Indo-European /a/"). Said > vowel-less languages are mostly in New Guinea.
Lehmann supports a vowelless stage for PIE, or rather a stage at which vo= wel quality distinctions were not made. According to him the e/o distinction= was a secondary development. I'm not sure I entirely understand the explanat= ion, but here's the best I can do without copying it out of the book: At the earliest stage, there were no "vowels" as segments; rather there w= as a suprasegmental phonemic element which he calls "syllabicity" which result= ed in the vowel called "e" appearing at a certain point in the word. This was during a period of stress-accent. Later, during a period of pitch-accent, the accent often moved. When it = moved away from an "e", that "e" changed to "o". This is the origin of the e/o= alternation. Long vowels are compensatory lengthenings when a phoneme was lost after a= vowel, e.g. "*p@te:r" < "*p@ters". All vowels except e and o arose from resonants used as syllable nuclei (y= , w, r, l, n, m), or through coloring an existing vowel which was followed by = a laryngeal (which may have been h, x, Q, or ? where Q=3Dvoiced velar frica= tive). Ed --------------------------------------------------------- Edward Heil .......................... --------------------------------------------------------- ____________________________________________________________________ Get free e-mail and a permanent address at 1