Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Tendencies of Sound Changes?

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Sunday, April 2, 2006, 17:44
John Vertical wrote:
> Roger Mills wrote: > >Another change that's very common: s > h (>0) > > I'm not sure what you mean by that. x > h, for example, is much more > probable. Universal loss of s, to my knowledge, generally requires all > other > fricatives to have withered away already.
Ancient Greek shows *s > h/0 (at least in some environments), and IIRC some of the Persian langs. do too. Of course, IE had no other fricatives to lose... French lost *s in certain environments; Spanish may be in the process. But it's noteworthy that this is not a common change in IE languages. I was thinking more in terms of the Austronesian family, where it is common (and they represent a fairly large % of the world's languages)-- many Polynesian lgs., and assorted lgs. in the Indonesian area.
> > > > One thing that's fairly safe to say is that out of the six "basic > >stops", > > > only /p g/ are prone to loss by fricativization. > > > >I think we could enlarge that to labial and velar stops generally /p b k > >g/. > > By "loss" I mean the loss of the whole phoneme, while leaving the rest of > the stops in place.
Hmm, I didn't interpret that as "total loss". So unless /b/ actually merges with some other phoneme in the system (resulting in loss of a contrast), the shifts b > B/v/w simply replace one phoneme with a new one. My other ex., g merging with k/N does result in the loss of a contrastive phoneme.
> But if you mean that /t d/ may resist _selective_ lenition, yes, that > seems more plausible.
They do seem more resistant to change.


Joe <joe@...>
John Vertical <johnvertical@...>