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PRe: triconsonantal roots

From:Muke Tever <hotblack@...>
Date:Friday, January 2, 2004, 19:08
On Thu, 1 Jan 2004 08:39:43 +0200, Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
> On Thursday, January 1, 2004, at 01:46 AM, Muke Tever wrote: >> Well, "Reconstructing Proto-Afroasiatic" (PAA being ancestor of >> Proto-Semitic) lists slightly over a thousand *bi*consonantal roots >> (using the basic five vowels, short and long; two or three tones, and >> forty-something consonants), from which the familiar Semitic >> triconsonantal roots were derived through various processes (most of >> the PAA consonants could be used as derivational morphemes). >> *Muke! > > TONES?! > You're saying they reconstruct Proto-Afro-Asiatic with TONES?! > That rocks! (in more than the tonal-language-as-music sense) :P > Where can i find more info about this?
The aforementioned book, _Reconstructing Proto-Afroasiatic (Proto-Afrasian)_ by Christopher Ehret, says: << Phonemic tone is a widespread feature of Afroasiatic, appearing regularly in the languages of the Omotic, Chadic, and Southern and Eastern Cushitic divisions of the family. Only the Boreafrasian subgroup (Semitic, Berber, and Egyptian [...]) has entirely deleted tone. >> (p. 67) From the correspondences in the languages that retain tone, three tones are reconstructed, described as either "falling, rising, and level word-tone", or possibly "high, low, and mid" syllable-tone (depending, I gather, on whether one considers the Cushitic or the Omotic to be more basic). The correspondences attested are something like, in general: Proto-South Cushitic Ngizim (Chadic) North Omotic falling high high rising low low level low mid *Muke! -- E jer savne zarjé mas ne Se imné koone'f metha Brissve mé kolé adâ.


Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>