Re: evolving languages
|From:||John Cowan <jcowan@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, January 15, 2003, 13:28|
Florian Rivoal scripsit:
> i have a vague idea of how sound change can occur, and borrowings is not so
> difficult for me to comprehend. but appart from that, i hardly know how
> grammar and sintax is likely to change.
Nobody else has a good idea either, any more than we understand why (in general)
sound changes happen. Syntactic changes just happen somehow.
> about phonetics, i am not asking for lots of sound change rules sample. tendencies
> would be more usefull to me (simplification or complexification, apperance/
> disapearance of tones , ...)
Voiced fricatives are weak and tend to disappear.
Tones usually arise when particular final consonants are lost: in particular,
losing -s tends to lead to high tone and losing -h tends to lead to low tone.
(This applies to contour tones.) Pitch accents often arise when a stress
accent shifts away, leaving high pitch behind; if stress is later lost,
one gets pitch alone. Nobody knows what makes tones/pitch disappear.
Final consonants and final vowels are often lost.
Consonants are often overdetermined (e.g. English voiced stops are also
lenis and unaspirated, whereas voiceless stops are also fortis and aspirated).
Some of this overdetermination can go away.
John Cowan firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.reutershealth.com
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