/x/ and 'inter-Germanic' (was: Intergermansk)
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, January 29, 2005, 18:11|
On Friday, January 28, 2005, at 07:51 , Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
> Ray Brown wrote:
>> I had not realized, I admit, that /S/ in modern Swedish was now
>> always?) pronounced [x]. That is interesting, and parallels the change of
>> earlier Spanish /S/ to the modern /X/ as, for example, in _Mexico_
>> /'meSiko/ --> _Mejico_ /'meXiko/.
> It has been spreading northward from southernmost Sweden for more
> than a century -- apparently reaching the Stockholm area after the
> WW2 period, but it has not yet reached the northern half of Sweden,
> where we instead find merger of earlier /S/ and /rs/,
Presumably as [s`]?
> nor has it
> reached the Swedish-speaking parts of Finland where /S/ actually
> is realized [s\] -- the actual pronunciation of traditional "/C/"
> on the mainland --, while "/C/" is [ts\] and /rs/ is still [rs].
So [x] is not even universal in Swedish - nor, it appears, is the ich-laut
universal there either. Interesting.
> One often cited reason for the spread of [x] is the "need" to
> preserve the distinction against /rs/ [s`], but that does not
> hold true of the area where [x] originated, since they have
> [Rs] for /rs/.
I suppose it could argued that twofold development of /S/ --> [x], and /rs/
--> [Rs] are both reactions to an earlier tendency to realize both sounds
as [s`]. It could be that use of the uvular [R] for the one development
gave rise to the shift to [x] ([X]?) for the other.
Actually, despite what Andreas & Pascal have subsequently written, it is
fairly obvious that my original remark has not been shown to be in correct:
The Folkspraak Charter stated: "The primary design principle is that
Folkspraak omit any linguistic feature not common to most of the modern
Germanic languages." So it omits /x/ as it doesn't occur in English (and
indeed seems to present the same sort of problems to my fellow countryman
as /T/ nd /D/ do to yours) nor the continental Scandinavian languages (tho
it does occur in Afrikaans :)
I did write /x/ and NOT [x]. There is a difference!
It is quite clear from Philip's mail that Swedish does not have /x/; it is
just that some varieties of Swedish have [x] as a realization of the
phoneme /S/, while in other Swedish speaking areas it is realized as [s`]
Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]