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Re: Rotokas (was: California Cheeseburger)

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Sunday, June 27, 2004, 22:44
At 17:15 6/24/2004, Andreas Johansson wrote:
> > > What gives you that impression? From what I've read, we originally > > > had a four-way distinction VC - V:C - VC: - V:C: > > > > Does this "we" refer to the Swedish or to the common ancestor of > > the Northern Germanic languages? > >I believe the collapse was underway as the languages split. BP Jonsson is >probably the person to ask, on this list.
The quantity shift happened simultaneously with early stages of the languages' split. It was in any case early enough that all dialects of all the languages took part in it in one way or another. Mind you the language split didn't jump from one single language to five different languages all in one go, rather it took centuries, different areas sharing different innmovations and retentions, and as far as Swedish and Norwegian are concerned the split isn't complete even now. Dialect speakers in both countries can generally understand their neighbors from further east or west, but have trouble with people from further south or north from both countries. The quantity shift largely consisted in V:C: (or VCC) becoming VC:/VCC while VC became either V:C or VC:/VCC, so that the only remaining quantitative shapes in stressed syllables were V:C and VC:/VCC. The change was not uniform in time or space. _vika_ 'week' could become either _vikka_ or _vekka_ or _ve:ka_, and some East Swedish (i.e. in Finland) dialects still have VC but no V:C:. Danish later lost consonant quantity so that they again got a VC vs. V:C distinction. The same goes for some south Swedish dialects, but definitely not for the bulk of Swedish and Norwegian dialects, neither for the insular languages. /BP 8^) -- B.Philip Jonsson (delete X) Solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant! (Tacitus)